Treasured Tunes featuring Christopher Ulffers


Podcast Transcript


Welcome to Treasured Tunes where professors from the East Carolina University School of Music offer commentary about selected musical pieces. Please sit back and enjoy the music.

Andrew Scanlon Speaking

This is Andrew Scanlon. I am the professor of organ and sacred music at the ECU School of Music. I’ve chosen two pieces from the great tradition of 20th century France to perform for you on the organ today. Both composers, Jean Langlais and Maurice Durufle, were inspired by a third composer, Charles Tournemire. Jean Langlais was a pupil of Tournemire and Maurice Durufle was Tournemire’s assistant at Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris. Both of these pieces are connected in their inspiration in some ways by Charles Tournemire. The first piece you will hear is Langlais’ Te Deum, a great and grand hymn of praise and thanksgiving in a three-part form. The first introduces the Gregorian chant theme punctuated with spectacular dissonant chords. The second theme develops further this theme. Then there is a return to the original opening, followed by a very grand ending. The Scherzo by Maurice Durufle is a lighter Impressionistic style piece—scherzo meaning a musical joke. This wonderful piece is much lighter than the Te Deum. In the way that Impressionistic painters tend to paint using small points of light, the music goes by very quickly using a lot of fast notes to create a wonderful palette. I hope you will enjoy these two wonderful pieces.

Music playing Te Deum composed by Jean Langlais and the Scherzo composed by Maurice Durufle (performed by Andrew Scanlon)

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