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Requiem for a dynasty

Misa de difuntos and música de Pasión de Sebastián Durón

This programme is devoted to Sebastián Durón, one of the greatest musicians of his time. A close look at his works reveals true genius. Durón achieved mastery of Spanish 17th-century style, while introducing elements from the music of Italy, France and even Germany. 

We have made a selection of some of Durón’s most solemn compositions written for a context of funerals and laments. The Funeral Mass for triple choir, violins and flutes was probably composed for the anniversary of the death of King Charles II of Spain. The other works were written for Holy Week, during which Lamentations and Misereres were traditionally performed. To evoke the desired atmosphere, Durón used the sweet and delicate sound of flutes, which was common practice in Spain at the time.

Durón’s music offers contrapuntal rigour, imaginative contrasts between the choirs, expressiveness of the text, often accentuated by deliberate chromaticism, and unexpected modulations that create a mysterious harmonic tension. The works featured in this programme can be considered true masterpieces worthy of the highest recognition.

Requiem por una dinastía
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