Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

alternatively
AmazonUK AmazonUS


Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Organ Works - Volume 9
Vingt-Quatre Inventions Op. 50 (1956) [46:58]
Trois Hymnes, Op. 58 (Matines, Vesper, Laudes) (1963) [20:19]

Ben van Oosten (organ)
rec. Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, Paris, October, 2007. DDD
MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG31612912 [67:24]
Experience Classicsonline


Though I was aware of the well-liked Guild ‘Complete Organ Works of Dupré’, performed by Jeremy Filsell, and of a similar series on Naxos, the existence of a third series in process from Ben van Oosten on the MDG label had somehow eluded me. I am, however, glad to make its acquaintance belatedly with the ninth volume in the series, even if these are not Dupré’s best, or best-known works. Played alongside the most recent Dupré organ work that I have reviewed, his Prelude and Fugue in g minor on Christopher Herrick’s Organ Fireworks XII (CDA67612) these are very small beer.
 

Like my colleague CB, reviewing Volume 7 – see review – I find myself praising the performances but left slightly out in the cold by the music. The 24 Inventions take almost as long to perform as Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and, though they employ the title Invention, I know which of these works displays the greater degree of that quality. MDG are recording the music in more or less chronological order and, sadly, I have to agree with CB that it is his earlier music which makes the greater impact. I have to confess that I began this review several weeks ago and, convinced that I had finished it and sent it off, set it to one side. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, MDG. As I now discover, that must have been due to some deeply unconscious memory that the music had not appealed to me. 

GMS praised Volume 6 in this series unreservedly, though he admitted to finding the later music on that volume, the two-movement Annonciation, Op.56, harder to come to terms with than the Op.28 and Op.48 works with which it is coupled – see review. Op.56 came between the Inventions of 1956 and the Trois Hymnes (1963). The notes which accompany Volume 9 admit that this was not a very creative period for Dupré: at the age of 68 he had reluctantly agreed to become Director of the Paris Conservatoire, not a position to which he was naturally well suited – he described it as a preview of purgatory. 

Those notes describe the Inventions as exquisite. I am sure that some of them would make an excellent preamble for a congregation awaiting the beginning of Mass, Vespers or its English equivalent Evensong in a collegiate church or cathedral. They are emphatically not my cup of tea for hearing one after the other, though I admire their craftsmanship. Like Bach’s Well-tempered Klavier, they explore all the major and minor keys from C major to e-flat minor; alternating major and minor, they ought to offer a pleasing variety – which they do, in a sense – but I perceive them as far more of an academic exercise than the Bach. 

Nor was I much more impressed with the Three Hymns, for Matins, Vespers and Lauds. The notes inform us that the music is modal and liturgical in character but not based on any existing tunes – which means that the term ‘liturgical’ is actually meaningless in this context. The notes are correct, however, in saying that the music evokes a monastic – I’d rather say ‘contemplative’ – atmosphere, though the final piece, Lauds, is vigorous in nature. 

Again, I can imagine myself admiring the music more as a prelude to one of these services or as an interlude between Matins and Lauds when these services are run together, as they usually were in the Tridentine rite, before Vatican II replaced them with the mundane English of Morning Prayers. Are the vernacular translations in other languages as awful as the modern Roman and Anglican versions, which often cut perversely across the flow of the Latin cursus, so beautifully respected by Cranmer’s 16th-century originals? “The Lord be with you – And with thy spirit” is dignified; “And also with you” falls flat on its face and refuses to get up. Don’t even try to sing it. Wisely, Radio 3 broadcasts of Anglican Choral Evensong still employ the 1662 version in preference to the modern mish-mash. 

Though I knew that there was no underlying chant, something made me keep listening expectantly, as if I might find something. Perhaps it was the knowledge that 20th-century French organ composers do often use Gregorian themes – Duruflé’s Quatre Motets, for example – which made me listen for the non-existent, or maybe it was due simply to the fact that I love and review a lot of Renaissance music where I have become accustomed to listening for a cantus firmus. 

I cannot fault the performances or the recording. The organ, too, that of the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, Paris, is ideal for the music. First built by Le Pescheur in 1636 and most recently rebuilt in 1991, its greatest claim to suitability lies in its Cavaillé-Coll rebuild of 1863. I’m sure that Dupré can be played on other organs – as witness the Herrick recording to which I have referred, on the organ of Haderselev Cathedral, Denmark – but it certainly helps. The booklet contains a full specification of the instrument, though the registration chosen for each piece is not given.

You may like the music here much more than I did – try before you buy, if possible. Far better, though, to go for one of the excellent versions of Dupré’s Chemin de la Croix – van Oosten’s own well-liked version (MDG 316 0953-2) or the CPO SACD with interpolated Passiontide chants, which JQ praised so highly (777 128-2 – see review – also available as a 320kbps mp3 download from classicsonline.com for £7.99). For a 2-CD introduction to Dupré’s music, try John Scott’s Hyperion recording, recently reissued as a lower-mid-price Dyad set (CDD22059 – see DC’s enthusiastic review). 

The Guild series is available to download in mp3 format from Chandos’s theclassicalshop.net for £6.00 per volume: Le Chemin de la Croix is on Volume 10, GMCD7193. Some Guild recordings are also available to download on emusic but not, apparently, any of the Dupré series. 

My lukewarm reaction to this Dupré CD may have been coloured by the fact that I listened to it just after playing Jennifer Bate’s splendid Beauvais recording of Messiaen’s Les Corps Glorieux – strongly recommended as an mp3 download from theclassicalshop.net for a mere £4.50 as part of their Messiaen centenary year special offer: no booklet of notes, but a splendid bargain.

Brian Wilson


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.