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Donald E. Metz
American Record Guide, December 2000

"This is Volume 11 in the Naxos series of Dupré's complete organ works. Once again, Preston commands the impressive 4-84 Fish organ in the Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas. Continuing the pattern established in this series, each disc contains a handful of Chorales (these are chosen from Nos. 55 to 73). The major work, Chemin de la Croix-one of the composer's favorites-is performed with musicianship and understanding. It was first done in 1931 in Brussels, a partly planned 'improvisation' to follow the reading of Stations of the Cross by Paul Claudel. The separate pieces are connected through the use of rhythmic and melodic leitmotifs into a remarkably unified work. Preston captures the mood of the crowd (Station 1), the gentleness of Station 6 ('Jesus and Veronica'), and the oppressive weight conveyed in Stations 3,7,9-Christ struggling under the Cross. Her tempos are rather slow for the big, loud movements; but that doesn't' harm the musical impact. The instrument packs plenty of punch for the dramatic moments, and the quiet sections are often extremely soft. This is as rewarding an interpretation as I have heard. If the hall lacks the reverberation of a cathedral, the balance and sonority of the organ compensate for it."



Francis Knights
International Record Review, October 2000

"The Naxos Dupre set, now up to the eleventh disc, includes works for organ and orchestra, and is shared between more than half-a-dozen different players. The Dallas-based recitalist Mary Preston has already appeared on Volume 7, and on this new disc is entrusted with one of Dupre's most massive creations, the hour-long Way of the Cross. This is an imaginative and powerful cycle of 14 pictorial meditations depicting the Stations of the Cross, the life of Jesus from the time of his condemnation by Pilate to his burial.

"Mary Preston's reading of this massive work is altogether impressive. Sometime she errs slightly on the side of caution (the sections depicting Jesus's second fall while carrying the Cross and the Crucifixion itself are insufficiently anguished), but she has a genuine feel for the devotional and dramatic inspiration of Dupre's muse. The seven short chorales from Op. 28, designed as a set of teaching pieces to prepare the student for Bach, provide an attractively simple end to the disc.

"As on her previous Dupré recital, Preston plays the Fisk organ of the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. This 81-stop behemoth is French Romantic in conception (Fisk has produced some superb organs in historical style, usually of an earlier period), and proves ideal for Dupre; the concert-hall acoustic is sufficiently full to provide an aural halo, but without submerging the notes in a fog of sound.

"A first-rate choice in every sense."






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5:56:43 AM, 13 July 2014
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