Dupré: Organ Music, Volume 1
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The output of Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) is so vast and various that only scholars and fellow organists can expect to grasp its scale. Most listeners require a discerning ear to pull out some of the many highlights. The Italian organist Alessandro Perin has done so here, without confining himself to Dupré’s ‘greatest hits’, the characteristic pile-ups of chorale harmonies and torrents of semiquavers in toccatas and variations that find their natural home on the instruments of Cavaille-Coll as an apotheosis of the French Gothic organ style.
Composer: Marcel Dupré
Artists: Alessandro Perin organ
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Instead, Perin’s selection is more diverse. It begins with the Suite Op.39: four pieces originally written as part of a collection of 12 Studies, though they bear no trace of didacticism. Rather, there is a Lisztian quality of invention to their virtuosity, from the glittering cascades of the opening Allegro agitato to the driving counterpoint of the finale.
The four settings of the Ave maris stella chant are progressively more ornate, from a simple statement of the chant over a walking bass, through an intricate Bachian chorale prelude, to a final, brilliant toccata. The ‘old Christmas carol’ featured in Op.20 variations is known in English as Now the green blade riseth: in one of his most justly celebrated works, Dupré treats the theme to a dazzling array of transformations, stretching the organist’s technique to the limit.
At the height of the Second World War, Dupré composed the Evocation in memory of his father, and gave its first performance at the Cathedral in Rouen in 1941. Exactly what is being evoked is left to the listener to decide, though only the tender second-movement elegy casts its gaze back with fondness; the strident progress of the first movement seems to reflect the troubled times, and the finale has its own struggles to overcome in a final blaze of C major triumph.
Born in 1984, Alessandro Perin studied with distinguished early-music performers and teachers such as Roberto Loreggian and Andrea Marcon, but he is most inspired by the playing and compositions of Jean Guillou. This release marks his debut on Brilliant Classics.
00:00:00 Suite in F Minor, Op. 39: I. Allegro agitato
00:03:22 Suite in F Minor, Op. 39: II. Cantabile
00:07:15 Suite in F Minor, Op. 39: III. Scherzando
00:09:32 Suite in F Minor, Op. 39: IV. Finale
00:13:39 15 Versets sur les vêpres du commun des fêtes de la Sainte Vierge, Ave Maris Stella, Op. 18: I. When the Salutation Gabriel Had Spoken
00:14:47 15 Versets sur les vêpres du commun des fêtes de la Sainte Vierge, Ave Maris Stella, Op. 18: II. Jesus Tender Mother, Make Thy Supplication
00:17:07 15 Versets sur les vêpres du commun des fêtes de la Sainte Vierge, Ave Maris Stella, Op. 18: III. So Now as We Journey, Aid Our Weak Endeavor
00:19:42 15 Versets sur les vêpres du commun des fêtes de la Sainte Vierge, Ave Maris Stella, Op. 18: IV. Amen (Finale)
00:21:52 7 Pièces, Op. 27: IV. Carillon
00:27:12 Variations sur un vieux noël in D Minor, Op. 20
00:40:04 Évocation, Op. 37 poème symphonique: I. Moderato
00:48:35 Évocation, Op. 37 poème symphonique: II. Adagio con tenerezza
00:57:10 Évocation, Op. 37 poème symphonique: III. Allegro deciso
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