Gounod: Mors et Vita, Epilogue and "Oro supplex", quartet with organ

Duration : 8 minutes

Elsa Dreisig, Kate Aldrich, Yosep Kang, Patrick Bolleire, Olivier Latry et l'Orchestre national de France sous la direction de Jesko Sirvend interprètent deux extraits de Mors et Vita de Charles Gounod : l'épilogue et le quatuor avec orgue. Extrait du Gala Gounod donné le 16 juin 2018.

We know very little regarding the date and circumstances of the composition of Mors and Vita, possibly undertaken in August 1882 following the premiere of La Rédemtion at the Birmingham Festival and completed during the spring of 1884, so as to be performed for the first in the same town on 30 August 1885. "I have placed death before life because in the order of eternal things, death precedes life, although in the order of temporal things life precedes death. Death is only the end of that existence which dies each day. But it is the first moment, and, as it were, the birth of that which dies no more." The work in three parts offers a progression from fleeting grief to eternal happiness, "the tears which death causes us to shed here below; the hope of a better life (1st part: Requiem), the solemn fear of an infallible justice (Part 2: Judgment of the Elected and Excluded), the tender and adjunct trust in the eternal Love (Part 3: Vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem) ". Excerpt from the Séquence du Requiem, the Oro Supplex is one of the last supplications that the deceased soul addresses to its Judge: "Prostrate, supplicating, I pray, my heart crushed like the ashes; take into thine hands my supreme fate." The voice of the tenor continues to rise like his prayer, the downward inflections of the bassoon suggesting "prostrate, supplicant, I pray", and the chromaticism and biting of relentless pizzicatos expressing pain (" the crushed heart "); the same pattern is found between the mezzo and the English horn; the entry of the two other voices modifies the link between the text and the music by freely using polyphonic elements.

Brief and condensed, the Epilogue crowns the 86 minutes of the Requiem with a powerful orchestral conclusion, recalling the main themes heard throughout the work.

Gounod gala: overtures and operatic airs by the Orchestre National de France, with Dreisig, Devos, Aldrich and Kang
Full concert
Gounod gala: overtures and operatic airs by the Orchestre National de France, with Dreisig, Devos, Aldrich and Kang
Auditorium de la Maison de la Radio
Charles Gounod
All artists
  • Orchestre National de FranceOrchestra
  • Benjamin BernheimPerformer
  • Elsa DreisigPerformer
  • Yosep KangPerformer
  • Kate AldrichPerformer
  • Patrick BolleirePerformer
  • Olivier LatryPerformer