Durante: Requiem in C Minor & Organ Concerto in B-Flat Major
In an exciting new collaboration, Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral Choir, one of the world’s oldest and best-known cathedral choirs, joins forces with soloists from The Sixteen and Oxford Baroque on this new recording of Francesco Durante’s Requiem Mass in C minor. Despite its enduring popularity in the 18th century this beautiful and majestic work was never published but survives through over 50 manuscript copies scattered across Europe. It is a remarkable work which can justly be described as one of the most important orchestral Requiem settings of the 18th century. This is the premiere recording of Stephen Darlington’s new edition of the work which shows durante to be a composer of considerable skill and invention, who combined his mastery of counterpoint with an elegance of melody, a richness of harmony and an imaginative instinct for structure. This album also features Durante’s exquisite Organ Concerto in B flat major- a rare example of an Italian keyboard concerto of the period- performed by celebrated organist Clive Driskill-Smith. Although 500 years old, Christ Church Cathedral Choir is justly famous for the youthfulness of its sound and its daring and adventurous musical programming. Unique in the world as both Cathedral and college choir, the intimate acoustic of its musical home, Oxford’s 12th century Cathedral has given it a relationship with early sacred music and the rhythm and vigor of contemporary idioms which is second to none.
Requiem Mass in C minor
Alexandra Kidgell (soprano), Katy Hill (soprano), William Purefoy (countertenor), Mark Dobell (tenor), Ben Davies (bass)
Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford
Organ Concerto in B flat major
Clive Driskill-Smith (organ)
Oxford Baroque, Stephen Darlington