Desenclos/Poulenc/Villette: Requiem; Motets; Litanies à la Vierge noire

Winner of the coveted Prix de Rome, Alfred Desenclos remains an almost unknown figure in twentieth-century music. His contribution to the distinguished French tradition of Requiem Mass settings dates from 1963; incorporating influences from Gregorian chant as well as rich harmonies based on added-note chords, this piece with its passionate outpourings is a revelation. It forms the centrestone of David Trendell’s programme, which also features music by Villette – who shared Desenclos’ interest in jazz – and Poulenc, whose return to Catholicism in 1936 initiated a line of pieces, beginning with the Litanies à la Vierge noire de Rocamadour, that represent some of the most significant religious choral music of the twentieth century. Trendell’s choir is on ravishing form, and the organ at his alma mater, Exeter College, Oxford, fits this music like a velvet glove.

"This Requiem will appeal to anyone who likes the settings by Fauré and Duruflé...David Trendell gets a first-rate performance from his choir, full of light and shade, and the few solo passages give no cause for apprehension...The recorded sound, from the chapel of Exeter College, Oxford, is quite wonderful."

"This undergraduate choir has a formidable musical unity under David Trendell...Desenclos’s Requiem (1963) is spaciously dignified and meditative."

"The King's choir lends it a wry intimacy that in no way conflicts with the composer's grief...few performances have better conveyed the work's combination of secular and mystical elements...A delightful collection from the blue-chip choral label of the day."

"we have here a rare collection and one which is beautifully performed and recorded by a choir which continues to grow in confidence"

"The Choir of King's College, London, sing all this music with great skill and conviction."

"David Trendell's Choir of King's College London is a superbly drilled mixed choir with gleaming sopranos and firm basses...Delphian's sound is at the usual high standard with presence, clarity and just the right amount of bloom."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Release Date: 7 April 2014
Catalogue No: DCD34158
Total playing time: 1:09:30

You may also like ...