Duruflé Requiem Descant
Artist’s Personal Collection. 48″ X 48″ acrylic and gold leaf on canvas
With the children needing so much attention, we rarely went out. But we did get to hear a performance of Maurice Duruflé’s ‘Requiem.’ It was spectacular. I was so moved, that I knew I had to paint what I “saw.” It was even more meaningful to know that the composer was organist for many years at St. Etienne du Mont in Paris, right at the top of the Montagne de Ste, Genevieve, where the Roman Forum once stood and where the Pantheon looks out over Paris today. My shows at the gallery were a block away, and also at the Sorbonne in the Galerie Soufflot. The requiem was so gorgeous, and the text was so inspiring that it carried me on wings until I could paint this. What was most unusual to me was that the organ usually underscores the human voices, but Duruflé reversed that in one section, and the organ became a soprano voice, while the choir sang lower registers. The conductor and one of the singers told us that the meter and key changed many times throughout the work. This complexity and genius compelled me to paint this.