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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Circumstantial Evidence

Proof that the creative spirit was alive when Marcel Dupré improvised in Paris eighty years ago.

On August 15, 1919, while substituting for an ailing Louis Vierne, 33-year-old Marcel Dupré improvised for an afternoon service at Notre Dame Cathedral. In the audience, totally by chance, was Claude Johnson, head of Rolls-Royce. He was so moved by the music that he encouraged Dupré to write down his improvisations, guaranteed their publication and sponsored Dupré’s subsequent London debut recital which marked the beginning of this artist’s astounding international career.

Audio Complete Show

Audio 9932 Part 1 45:26 Min

Audio 9932 Part 2 42:35 Min

Program Broadcast dates:

  • August 9, 1999

Music played in the program

MARCEL DUPRÉ: 5 Antiphons, from Vepres des Fetes du Commun de la Sainte-Vierge, Opus 18, numbers 1—5 –Suzanne Chaisemartin (1890 Cavaillé-Coll/Église Saint-Ouen, Rouen, France) Motette CD MOT 50251

LOUIS VIERNE: Motet, Ave Maria. CHARLES-MARIE WIDOR: Motet, Tu es Petrus. MARCEL DUPRÉ: Motet, Tantum ergo –Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O’Donnell, conductor; Joseph Cullen (1932 Henry Willis & Sons/Westminster Cathedral, London, England, UK) Hyperion CDA66898

MARCEL DUPRÉ: 4 Ave maris stella Versets, Opus 18, numbers 6—9 –Daniel Roth (1862 Cavaillé-Coll/Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris, France) Motette CD MOT 10981

MARCEL DUPRÉ: Ballade for Piano and Organ, Opus 30 –Alessio Bax, piano; Stefan Engels (1993 C.B. Fisk/Caruth Auditorium, SMU, Dallas, TX) Naxos 8.554210

MARCEL DUPRÉ: Toccata, Ave maris stella, Opus 18, number 4 –Marcel Dupré (1890 Cavaillé-Coll/Église Saint-Ouen, Rouen, France) Philips 446 648

MARCEL DUPRÉ: Quatre Fugues Modales, Opus 63 –Jeremy Jeremy Filsell (1979 Möller/St. Boniface Episcopal, Sarasota, FL) Guild GMCD 7156

MARCEL DUPRÉ: 6 Magnificat Versets, Opus 18, numbers 10—15 –James Biery (1962 Austin/Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford, CT) AFKA SK-537