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8.554542 - DUPRE: Works for Organ, Vol. 13
Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Organ Works, Volume 13
Descended from a family of organists and musicians, Marcel Dupré was born in Rouen in 1886. Taught by his father, he had his first appointment as an organist at the age of twelve and in 1898 became a pupil of Alexandre Guilmant, his teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, with Vierne and Widor, studying composition with the last and winning the Prix de Rome in 1914. Unfit for military service, he substituted for Vierne at Notre-Dame between 1916 and 1922, and found time to study all Bach’s music for the organ, in 1920 playing in recital the complete organ works, thus establishing his reputation. An international career followed, with recitals throughout the world. This he coupled with the position of professor of organ at the Conservatoire from 1926 and employment as Widor’s successor as organist at the Paris church of St Sulpice. He served as director of the Conservatoire from 1954 to 1956 and died in 1971. Equally gifted as a composer and as a performer, Dupré was a master of organ improvisation, in particular on the fine instrument at St Sulpice.
Zephyrs is a reconstruction by the American organist and writer Rollin Smith of an improvisation by Marcel Dupré on a theme by Leopold Stokowski, taken from a recording. It represents an art of which Dupré was a master, with brilliant improvisations in his recitals, often on themes offered by members of the audience, and ending, on occasions, although not here, with a skilfully constructed fugue.
The Six Antiennes pour le Temps de Noël, Op. 48, (Six Antiphons for the Christmas Season), were written in 1952. The first, Ecce Dominus veniet, et omnes sancti ejus cum eo: et erit in die illa lux magna, alleluia (Lo, the Lord shall come, and all his saints with him: and there shall be on that day great light, alleluia), for Vespers of the first Sunday of Advent, takes as its basis the plainsong of the antiphon, heard first in the upper part. The second, Omnipotens sermo tuus, Domine, a regalibus sedibus veniet, alleluia (Thy all-powerful word, Lord, shall come from the abodes of kings, alleluia), is a Vespers antiphon for the fourth Sunday of Advent, again based on the plainsong. Tecum principium, in die virtutis tuae in splendoribus sanctorum, ex utero ante luciferum genui te (Thine is the princedom in the day of thy virtue, amid the splendours of the saints, from the womb before dawn I engendered thee) is an antiphon for Second Vespers on Christmas Day. The composer varies slightly the inflection of the plainchant, the basis of a tranquil meditation. Germinavit radix Jesse: orta est stella ex Jacob: Virgo peperit Salvatorem: te laudamus, Deus noster (The root of Jesse has had seed; the star of Jacob has arisen: the Virgin has brought forth the Saviour: we praise thee, our God), an antiphon for Second Vespers on the Feast of the Circumcision, develops the chant in a livelier mood. It is followed by Stella ista sicut flamma coruscat, et Regem Regum Deum demonstrat: Magi eam viderunt et magno Regi munera obtulerunt (That star shines as a flame, and shows God, the King of Kings: wise men saw it and offered gifts to the great King), for Second Vespers on the Feast of the Epiphany, offers the plainsong melody in the upper part in a serene meditation. The Second Vespers antiphon for the Purification, also heard at the blessing of the candles, Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel (A light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel) has the plainsong in the pedals, in a jubilant setting.
The Seventy-Nine Chorales, Op. 28, were intended to serve as an introduction to Bach’s chorale preludes, offering relatively simple versions of the same chorale melodies, later to be tackled in their more elaborate form. Durch Adam’s Fall ist ganz verderbt (Through Adam’s fall is the world defiled) is heard on manuals only in a two-part version. The familiar Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott (A mighty fortress is our God) is heard in fuller form, a Lutheran version of Psalm 46. Erbarm’ dich mein, o Herre Gott (Have mercy upon me, O Lord, my God) is in the form of a canon at the octave between the soprano and tenor voices. Ich hab’ mein’ Sach’ Gott heimgestellt (In thee, O God, have I put my trust) has the chorale melody in the tenor. It is followed by Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (Unto thee I cry, Lord Jesus), which has the chorale melody in an elaborated version in the soprano.
The symphonic poem Vision, Op. 44, first published in 1948, has the explanatory superscription ‘Et la lumière luit dans les ténèbres’ (And the light shines in the darkness). It is with the darkness and lower depths that the work starts, growing louder, until a passage marked Grave, with a trompette theme over shifting sustained chords. The flute stop is used as one of a pair of voices, moving on to an Andante cantabile, introducing the characteristic sounds of the voix céleste. The music slowly unwinds, increasing in pace before a toccata-like Vivo and a dynamic climax, a clearly defined melody and a massive Largamente, as the light shines through the darkness. The work ends with a brief return to the motif of the opening.
Further chorales from the collection of Opus 28 start with two versions of In dich hab’ich gehoffet, Herr (In thee, Lord, have I hoped), in E minor and A major respectively, the second appearing in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. In dir ist Freude (In thee is joy) is a chorale for New Year’s Day, with full organ, and the well-known In dulci jubilo for Christmas, making use of the voix céleste. The selection ends triumphantly with Valet will ich dir geben (Farewell), for full organ, with the chorale in the pedals.
The Symphonie No. 2, Op. 26, in C sharp minor, was published in 1929. It starts with a Preludio in which a toccata-like passage is contrasted ontrasted with the grander figuration of the opening and other chordal writing, providing the two subject groups of first movement form. There is a massively orchestrated climax, before a recapitulation and a C sharp major ending. The B minor Intermezzo, the third of its three sections a varied recapitulation of the first, has a more complex central section, as always with careful registration prescribed. The marching chords of the C sharp major Toccata give way to a mood of relative relaxation, before their return, with a now familiar pedal motif that returns yet again in the final section.
A native of Dallas, George Baker created an early sensation in the organ world by winning the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Playing in 1970 and by his subsequent featured recital for that organization’s national convention two years later. He went on to study organ and improvisation in Paris and to record, and returned to America to teach organ and then to enter medical school. Some thirty years later he has returned to music as a performer, improviser, composer and teacher. His training as an organist was with some of the finest organ teachers of the twentieth century. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University under Robert Anderson, and studied in Paris with Marie-Claire Alain, Pierre Cochereau, Jean Langlais and André Marchal. During his time in France, he earned the Prix de Virtuosité with Mention Maximum from the Schola Cantorum, under Langlais. Returning to the United States, he took his doctorate in music at the University of Michigan and then taught at the Catholic University in Washington D.C. before deciding to become a medical doctor. Although working in medicine, he never ceased performing, composing and recording. In his early years as a musician, George Baker won first prizes by unanimous jury decisions in several major organ competitions, including the American Guild of Organists (1970), the Grand Prix de Chartres (1974) and the International Improvisation Competition (Lyon, France, 1979, with Pierre Cochereau as president of the jury). His recordings include the complete organ works of J.S. Bach (1979) and of Louis Vierne, a world première recording, released in 1994, a project he shared with Pierre Cochereau. He has been awarded three French Grand Prix du Disque, two of which were for his world première recording of the complete organ works of Darius Milhaud. In 1995 his Vierne recordings won the coveted Grand Prix Special du Jury from the Nouvelle Académie du Disque Français. In 2000, the same recording won a critic’s choice award from American Record Guide. George Baker’s compositions have been performed in both the United States and Europe. In addition, he has served on juries in several prestigious organ competitions. Special areas of interest include the music of Louis Vierne and Maurice Duruflé, improvisation in the French style, and the organ building of Cavaillé-Coll. He is a member of the Comité International de Soutien de l’Association Duruflé, and is serving as translator of the memoirs and writings of Maurice Duruflé. He is in frequent demand for his expertise as a consultant for organ building and renovation projects. Currently he serves as Associate University Organist and director of University Worship Music, Perkins Chapel, Southern Methodist University.
Perkins Chapel Pipe Organ
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Aeolian-Skinner/Schudi/J-F Dupont pipe organ (2000)
32 Grand Bourdon
8 Flûte Harmonique
4 Flûte ouverte
2 2/3 Quinte
Fourniture IV 1 1/3’
Chimes, Zimbelstern, Harp, Celesta
Gt / Gt 16, 4; Unison Off; Ch/Gt 16, 8, 4;
Sw/Gt 16, 8, 4
Pedal to Great
MIDI on Great
8 Voix Céleste
5 1/3 Gros Nazard
4 Flûte octaviante
3 1/5 Grosse Tierce
2 2/3 Nazard
1 3/5 Tierce
Plein Jeu III 2’
8 Voix Humaine
Sw/Sw 16, 4; Unison Off
MIDI on Swell
8 Cor de Nuit
8 Unda Maris
2 2/3 Nazard
2 Quarte de Nazard
1 3/5 Tierce
1 1/3 Larigot
Cymbale III 1’
8 Trompette Royale (chamades installed in gallery)
Ch/Ch 16, 4; Unison Off; Sw/Ch 16, 8, 4
MIDI on Choir
32 Montre (Walker voice)
32 Flûte (Walker voice)
32 Flûte Douce (Walker voice, expresses with Swell shoe)
32 Soubasse (Walker voice)
16 Bourdon doux
64 Bombarde de Ravalement (Walker voice)
32 Contre Bombarde (full length resonators; ext. Grande Bombarde 16’)
32 Contre Trombone (Walker voice, expresses with
32 Contre Basson (Walker voice, expresses with
16 Grande Bombarde
Gt/Pd 8; Sw/Pd 8,4; Ch/Pd 8, 4
MIDI on Pedal
24 general pistons, 128 levels of memory
Piston sequencer (toe studs and pistons)
All swells to swell
Adjustable tutti, adjustable crescendo pedal, selected reversibles
Transfer Manual I to Manual II
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