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Classical Music

Music In The Making: Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Featuring Durufle’s Requiem, followed by a collection of songs!


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On this week’s episode of Music in the Making, we’re celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a twentieth-century requiem and a selection of songs by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor!

Maurice Durufle – Requiem (1947)
Rice Chorale; Joseph Eletto, baritone; Kaitlyn Johnson, soprano; Ken Cowan, organ
Edyth Bates Old Recital Hall

Our first selection tonight is a requiem written by little-known French composer Maurice Durufle in memory of his father. Durufle received his early musical training at the Rouen Cathedral Choir School. He later attended the Paris Conservatory in the 1920’s, where he graduated with honors. This composition, like most of Durufle’s works, illustrates a unique blend of old and new musical styles. While using the formal structure of the Requiem Mass along with his education in twentieth-century harmonic language, Durufle is able to bridge the gap between the secular and the progressive.

Picture of composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in 1893

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – 3 selections from 6 Sorrow Songs, Op. 57 (1906)
Timothy Jones, baritone; Katherine Ciscon, piano
Moores Opera House

Our last selection this evening is a collection of songs by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, one of the most socially ground-breaking composers in history. Coleridge-Taylor came from a mixed heritage, with an English mother and a Creole father. He gained worldwide fame for his work Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast and became influential for his use of traditional African music. In 1904, he was even invited by President Theodore Roosevelt to the White House, which was a rare occurrence for people of color. This composition, his Six Sorrow Songs, use poems written by Christina Rossetti, who is more well-known for her text “In the bleak midwinter.” The selected songs from this collection are titled “Oh what comes over the Sea,” “When I am dead, my dearest” and “She sat and sang always.”

This episode originally aired Sunday, January 17th, 2016. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical 91.7.