Thomas Trotter – Duruflé Complete Organ Works (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:13:19 minutes | 2,1 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Kings College Cambridge
“I love the way he makes the music shine brightly through that incense-laden atmosphere which seems to shroud so many recordings of this repertory, without actually disturbing it in any way. I do not recall ever having been so excited by this music before. An exceptionally fine recording, which has captured instrument, acoustic and playing with impeccable detail without any sacrificing of atmosphere, and we have here a genuinely exceptional organ release.” – Gramophone
Not yet familiar with Maurice Duruflé’s organ music? Listen to the Prélude sur l’Introït de l’Épiphanie, Op. 13 from 1961: in two minutes, the composer gives a full summary of his work. An almost circular melody, wide and generous, unfolds through magical and autumnal registrations. Where are we? This music feels like it is coming at us from out of history. A crumhorn reworking of Couperin? A very chromatic improvisation by Johann Sebastian Bach? No, it is Maurice Duruflé, who blends the melismas and breaths of Gregorian chant into the modern harmony of a Ravel. And this synthesis of genius, which would also produce the Mass cum jubilo Op. 11 (1966), gives this music its timeless charm. The fact that this music is so brief, like the composer’s body of work, from which many sketches and completed compositions have been excised, adds to the intensity of the moment. A man of the church and of the Christian tradition, Maurice Duruflé was fiercely demanding of himself, as was Paul Dukas, who taught him composition several decades earlier. Duruflé’s work consists of only fourteen pieces, none of which are particularly long!
Duruflé’s colouristic sense shines through everywhere, and the astonishing Prélude to the wonderful Suite Op. 5 remains one of the most significant examples of this tendency. The terrifying, horror-film opening gradually turns into a psalmodic thriller, ending in a meditation on earthly life as seen from heaven. In a relatively moderate tempo, Thomas Trotter displays a breathtaking feel for gradation in this passage, surely one of the most intense moments in Maurice Duruflé’s back catalogue.
Throughout this album, Thomas Trotter – an English organist born in 1957, whose imposing Decca discography deserves re-evaluation – displays treasures of musicality and above all of sensitivity. Although his organs do not show off such marvellous timbres as those of the instruments in the Abbey of Saint-Ouen (Rouen) or Saint-Etienne du Mont (Paris), Trotter is truly prodigious, on the one hand in how he works on structure, and on the other hand, and especially, in his sense of narration and breathing, which is so typical of Duruflé. This work is quite simply poignant. – Pierre-Yves Lascar
01. Thomas Trotter – Fugue sur le thème du Carillon des Heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons, Op. 12
02. Thomas Trotter – Méditation, Op. post.
03. Thomas Trotter – Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, Op. 7: I. Prélude
04. Thomas Trotter – Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, Op. 7: II. Fugue
05. Thomas Trotter – Scherzo, Op. 2
06. Thomas Trotter – Prélude sur l’Introït de l’Épiphanie, Op. 13
07. Thomas Trotter – Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du ‘Veni Creator’, Op. 4: I. Prélude
08. Thomas Trotter – Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du ‘Veni Creator’, Op. 4: II. Adagio
09. Thomas Trotter – Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du ‘Veni Creator’, Op. 4: III. Choral varié
10. Thomas Trotter – Chant Donné (en hommage à Jean Gallon)
11. Thomas Trotter – Suite, Op. 5: I. Prélude
12. Thomas Trotter – Suite, Op. 5: II. Sicilienne
13. Thomas Trotter – Suite, Op. 5: III. Toccata