Selected recordings with Marcel Dupré and Jeanne Demessieux

Marcel Dupré and Jeanne Demessieux hardly need any introduction. They were some of the most prominent exponents of the French organ style and two of the most celebrated performers.

Anyway, here is a little biography from Wikipedia:

Marcel Dupré, May 3, 1886 – May 30, 1971
Marcel Dupré was born in Rouen. Born into a musical family. Dupré entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1904, where he studied with Louis Diémer and Lazare Lévy (piano), Alexandre Guilmant and Louis Vierne (organ), and Charles-Marie Widor (composition). In 1926, he was appointed professor of organ performance and improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire, a position he held until 1954. In 1934, Dupré succeeded Charles-Marie Widor as titular organist at St. Sulpice in Paris, a post he held until his death in 1971.
(Partly from Wikipedia)

These recordings were recorded for the British Decca Records in the 1940s. They were recorded in Saint Mark Church in North Audley Street in London on an organ which was maybe not ideally suited for the french repertoire.
As a little bonus feature, I’ve put two different transfers of the Franck Choral, one transfer made by Michael Gartz and the other by Claus Byrith. The sounds are quite different, and I couln’t decide which was to prefer.

Jeanne Marie-Madeleine Demessieux, February 13, 1921 – November 11, 1968
Jeanne Demessieux was born in Montpellier. In 1933 Jeanne Demessieux was enrolled as a student at the Paris Conservatory; studying piano with Simon Riera and Magda Tagliaferro, harmony with Jean Gallon, counterpoint and fugue with Noël Gallon, and composition with Henri Büsser. She was also appointed titular organist at St. Esprit in Paris in 1933, a post she held for 29 years. Between 1936 and 1939 she studied organ privately with Marcel Dupré, whose organ class at the Conservatory she joined in 1939. Her debut in 1946 was compared to those of Horowitz, Menuhin, and Gieseking; Dupré himself said “You have shown us this evening that we are in the presence of a phenomenon equal to the youth of Bach or Mozart . . .” Of Paris’s finest organists present—including Langlais, Litaize, Grünenwald and Falcinelli—Duruflé more humorously (but no less seriously) declared “Next to Jeanne Demessieux, the rest of us play the pedals like elephants!”
In 1962, Jeanne Demessieux was appointed titular organist at La Madeleine in Paris.
After several months of illness, Jeanne Demessieux died on November 11, 1968, due to cancer, in her Parisian apartment.
(This part of the text partly from Wikipedia and
Jeanne Demessieux recorded almost entirely for Decca Records and the two recordings presented here were some of her first made in 1947. The recordings were like the Dupré recordings recorded in Saint Mark Church in London. The Dutch Festivo Label has reissued many of her recordings in four volumes.

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