Duruflé: Quatre Motets

Maurice Duruflé

Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)

Maurice Duruflé was a French composer and organist.  He didn’t write very many works.  Duruflé is most well known as a composer for his Requiem.  He was also a well known performer on the organ and toured internationally.

Duruflé’s four motets are based on gregorian chants taken from the Liber Usualis (a book of prayers, lessons, and chants for important  offices used in the Roman Catholic Church).  The motets are written in a modal style because the chants themselves were written in modes (these are old scales that were used in church music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance period and folk song long before major and minor scales and modern harmony existed in music).

Here is a recording of Maurice Duruflé’s four motets performed by the Laurens Collegium in Rotterdam.  The conductor is Wiecher Mandemaker.