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Marcel DUPRÉ Choral Works
Quatre Motets Op 9
Final from La France au Calvaire Op 49
Ave Verum op34 no. 1
Deux Motets 0p53
De Profundis Op 18

Jeremy Filsell (organ)
Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse (conductor)
GUILD GMCD 7220 (DDD) (79.23)
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This is a welcome disc, perfectly recorded with exemplary performances. The sound of the organ, the king of instruments, is choice.

The intonation of this fine ensemble of singers is laudatory and their varied colour a delight. The conductor has notable interpretative skills and his understanding of tempi is spot on.

This is choral singing at its best and I still have the sound of that superb organ ringing in my ears.

I found a few pages of the 45 minute De Profundis sometimes rather ordinary but, to compensate, the penultimate movement is very fine. The real quality of Dupré's music is that it is usually strong and the continuity is good. There is no going off at tangents, paddings out, nauseous wallowing but straight music with clear direction and purpose. The design and craftsmanship is unobtrusive and, as a result, very effective.

The early Quatre Motets of 1916 are, to my mind, the most appealing work. Yes, they may be eclectic but none the worse for that. The opening organ solo sets the scene and the organist's registration throughout is very well chosen. The music has a very telling spiritual feel without sounding remote as much religious music can. The simplicity of the settings never makes the music banal and, at times, the music is, in fact, very moving. To my taste, it is music like this that has that rare ability to elevate our desire for the Eternal. Listen to the opening of the second motet and enjoy the sheer beauty of the sound.

The final motet was a revelation. Perhaps I heard it at a time when I needed a musical tonic. Very special!

I could continue in this vein but I do recommend you make this discovery for yourself. Unless you have a very hardened heart you will, you must, respond warmly to this angelic music.

David Wright

Seen&Heard review of live performance

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