Philharmonic Chorus aims to convey emotion of Duruflé’s Requiem Saturday

Staff Reports

Talk about your gut-wrenching emotion.

Composer Maurice Duruflé understood it. And people can hear the French church musician’s famous Requiem this weekend and judge for themselves, thanks to the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Philharmonic Chorus.

“This Requiem is not an ethereal work which sings of detachment from human concerns,” Duruflé wrote of his 1947 piece. “It reflects, in the unchanging form of Christian prayer, the anguish of man faced with the mystery of his final end.”

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

The 70-member chorus and the orchestra join forces at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at First Christian Church, 531 Fifth St. The venue and its acoustics have long been a favorite for Philharmonic Music Director David Bowden.

The second half of the concert features “Enigma Variations” by popular English composer Edward Elgar, well-known for composing “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Some classical experts have called Duruflé’s Requiem a breathtaking masterwork of profound beauty and soothing character. The world-class Aeolian-Skinner organ at First Christian will be featured as a part of the instrumental ensemble accompanying the Philharmonic Chorus.

Bowden called the Requiem a “work of extraordinary beauty and color that is immediately accessible and pleasing on first hearing.”

Chorus members Elizabeth Perry and Grant Farmer, mezzo-soprano and baritone, will be featured soloists in the performance.

Elgar’s “Enigma Variations,” which also incorporates the organ, is a delightful romp through musical depictions of Elgar’s friends. The “enigma” is a compelling multi-level mystery about the various characters portrayed and about the original theme that he wrote.

It includes the movement, Nimrod, with one of the most famous melodies ever written, as well as a musical representation of a joyously barking dog falling into a river, clambering back up onto the bank, and then shaking off the water on everyone around him.

Forty-five minutes before the concert, Bowden will share his thoughts about the enigma of Elgar’s masterpiece and about the source of the beauty of the Requiem in a Musically Speaking pre-concert conversation. The discussion is free to concert ticket-holders, and is another avenue to become familiar with the Philharmonic’s music.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”About the concert” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Who: The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and its award-winning Philharmonic Chorus performing Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem and Edward Elgar’s "Enigma Variations." 

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: First Christian Church, 531 Fifth St. in downtown Columbus.

Musically Speaking: Philharmonic Music Director David Bowden will speak about the evening’s program at an informal gathering for ticket holders at 6:45 p.m. 

Tickets: Priced at $20 to $40, and must be purchased in advance since not tickets are sold at the church for any such arts event. Available at 812-376-2638 or Seating for this performance is general admission.