Nunc Dimittis

January 16, 2003

Marie-Madeleine Chevalier-Duruflé died on October 5
in Paris, France, at the age of 78. Internationally known recitalist and
teacher, she was the widow of Maurice Duruflé, who died in 1986. Mrs.
Duruflé was considered the last great exponent of the French Romantic
school of organ playing and gave noteworthy performances of works by Widor,
Vierne, Langlais, Dupré, and her husband. She was born in Marseilles on
May 8, 1921, and showed musical talent early. At age 11 she was named an
organist of the Cathedral of St. Véran de Cavaillon, and at 12 entered
the Conservatory at Avignon. Her studies were interrupted by the outbreak of
World War II. In 1946, at age 25, she became a pupil of Dupré at the
Paris Conservatory, where she won first prize in organ. In 1953 she was awarded
the Grand Prix International Charles-Marie Widor for organ and improvisation.
She met her future husband at the conservatory when he was substitute teacher
for one year for Dupré, and they were married in 1953. Mrs.
Duruflé became co-organist with her husband at St.
Étienne-du-Mont in Paris, a post he had held himself since 1930. They
gave joint concert tours frequently, with their first tour to the United States
in 1964. In 1975 they were involved in a serious auto accident. Mrs. Durufle suffered
severe pelvic and rib injuries and both of her husband’s legs were
broken. Years of surgery and therapy followed, but neither ever completely
recovered. In 1989, three years after her husband’s death, not having
concertized for 15 years, Mrs. Duruflé agreed to participate in a
Duruflé Festival in New York, organized by former student Dennis Keene,
organist, conductor and artistic director of the Voices of Ascension. Her last
public concert was in New York at the Church of the Ascension in 1993.

 

Vivien Johnson Fauquet died on October 17, 1999, in Fort
Myers, Florida, at the age of 88. Mrs. Fauquet attended Stephens College in
Columbia, Missouri, and completed her studies at Sioux Falls College in South
Dakota, earning the BMus degree. For many years she had a studio of voice and
piano, while also holding church positions as organist and soprano soloist. She
and her family moved to Ft. Myers in 1961 where she served several local
churches as organist and supply organist. Among her many musical endeavors, she
helped to found the Ft. Myers Symphony Orchestra and worked to promote
Community Concerts. She studied organ at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church with
Ralph Tilden, who had been a student of André Marchal, and she played
many recitals on St. Luke’s concert series. Mrs. Fauquet was an active
member of the Ft. Myers AGO chapter (renamed the Southwest Florida chapter in
1988), serving as Dean from 1966–68 and holding every office at one time
or another. A memorial service was held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Ft.
Myers.