Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments
…with vintage recordings digitally reissued, we reflect on one of the great 20th century masters of the pipe organ.
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MARCEL DUPRÉ: Carillon, Op. 27, #4
DUPRÉ: Prelude & Fugue in g, Op. 7, no. 3*
J. S. BACH: Schübler Chorale, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645
CESAR FRANCK: Fantasie in A, fr Trois Pieces
DUPRÉ: Prelude & Fugue in C, Op. 36, no. 3
DUPRÉ: Prelude in e, Op. 36, no. 1
BACH: Fugue in e, BWV 548 (Wedge)
DUPRÉ: Triptyque, Op. 51 (Chaconne-Musette-Dithyrambe)*
DUPRÉ: Fugue, Op. 57 (1890 Cavaillé-Coll/St. Ouen, Rouen, France)
DUPRÉ: In dulci jubilo, Op. 28, no. 41 (1890 Cavaillé-Coll/St. Ouen, Rouen, France)
SAINT-SAËNS: Finale, fr Symphony No. 3 in c, Op. 78 (Organ) –Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Paul Paray, conductor
Marcel Dupré recorded a total of eight LP albums for the Mercury Living Presence label, beginning in 1957 with one with orchestra at Ford Auditorium in Detroit, then an additional two of solo selections by Widor, Franck and Dupré at St. Thomas Church* in New York City (these three albums featuring new Aeolian-Skinner pipe organs) and, in 1959, five more, with solo works by Bach, Franck, Dupré and Messiaen, at the Church of Saint Sulpice in Paris (on the famous 1862 Cavaillé-Coll organ).
Subsequently, some of the New York and Detroit material was reissued in CD format, but the primary selections featured here, the Triptyque and various works from the Paris sessions, appear on CD for the first time, and now all of Dupré’s Mercury (and two subsequent Philips) recordings have been brought together in new, high-resolution digital transfers from the original analog master tapes (Mercury 478 8388). This 10-CD reissue set (available both in CD format or as digital downloads) was made possible by the Association des Amis de l’Art de Marcel Dupré.
We talk with the Association’s director, Bruno Chaumet, project consultant Adam Freeman, and engineer Thomas Fine, whose father (C. Robert Fine) engineered and mother (Wilma Cozart Fine) produced the original recordings in the 1950s.
Read a more detailed story of the legendary Mercury Living Presence recording process (and the remarkable Mercury catalog of historic performances) as it appeared in Stereophile Magazine.