DuruflÃ©: Suite for organ Op. 5 (Prelude-Sicillienne-Toccata)
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Duruflé's Suite, Op. 5 represents one of the high points in the composer's substantial output for the organ. As with his other works for the instrument, it makes considerable demands on the player. The first movement, a Prelude in E flat minor, is constructed as a large arch. It opens with a funereal theme that exploits the organ's darkest, most brooding colors. As the movement progresses, the brighter organ stops slowly overcome the darkness of the opening until the grand sound of the full instrument bursts forth. From this great expanse of sound, Duruflé gradually returns to the contemplative mood of the opening.
The second movement is a graceful Sicilienne. The plaintive theme is isolated in various solo stops, accompanied by an eighth note figuration; these episodes alternate with a chordal texture played on string stops. The final Toccata, one of the most difficult pieces in the organ literature, is a sonic whirlwind that eschews the sort of consistent pattern of fast notes that characterizes many French organ toccatas; rather, it unfolds in a more improvisatory spirit.
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