With the Choir & Orchestra of “The Sixteen” – Artistic Director: Harry Christophers
Courtesy of BBC
Simon Russel Beale travels through the urban and rural landscape of France to explore the story behind Fauré's much-loved Requiem, one of the best loved pieces of sacred music ever written. He goes on to discover how this work laid the foundations for a distinctively French style, a tradition continued by the compelling music of the outrageously fashionable Francis Poulenc, working in the heart of jazz-age Paris
The agnostic Fauré built his career in some of the most magnificent and fashionable churches in Paris, and Simon visits Fauré's modern-day successors at Saint-Sulpice, with its world famous Cavaillé-Coll organ, and at “La Madeleine”, where the Requiem was first performed.
Simon also journeys down to the south of France, to the ancient hillside shrine of Rocamadour, where Poulenc’s encounter with its famous Black Madonna precipitated not only his faith, but also his first piece of religious music, “Litanies à la Vierge Noire”.