3 mai 1886, Rouen
May 30, 1971, Meudon
French organist, composor and teacher
As performer, teacher and composer, Marcel Dupré devoted his whole life to the organ. His performing career embraced a total of 2178 recitals all over the world, but was centred round Saint-Sulpice, where his liturgical improvisations attracted a crowd of admirers to the organ-loft every Sunday. His teaching activities extended far beyond his regular work at the Conservatoire, including a dozen theoretical textbooks and teaching editions of the organ works of the great masters in 21 minutely annotated volumes. During his earlier years he composed for many different media, but from the mid-1920s he concentrated exclusively on the organ, his extensive output for the instrument reflecting his own experience as recitalist, church musician and professor, and including large-scale concert works, plainsong-based liturgical music, and technical studies ranging from the elementary to the transcendental.
During his lifetime the more sensational aspects of Marcel Dupré’s art – his spellbinding virtuosity and the supreme musical intellect which enabled him to improvise strict five-part fugues with miraculous ease – tended to obscure the poetic and spiritual side of his creative personality. Only a handful of his works took a place in the standard repertoire, and in the thirty years since his death little has changed. We hope that these recordings will help to redress the balance; the logic of Dupré’s musical thought and the subtle refinement of his harmonic language can often be fully appreciated only after repeated listening, and familiarity with the lesser-known pieces can only enhance our appreciation of the more popular works. This complete recording will present the complete picture of the musical legacy of a great musician, a musician who was not just a master craftsman but also a poet, a poet who could declare from the heart: ‘I love colourful harmonies, I adore them….For me, music should be a caress for the ear.’
Sources : All Music Guide Website (Author: James Reel); Guild Music Website; Wikipedia Website