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Dupré's Carillon


Malcolm Farr
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Recently I was asked if I could provide a postlude of the joyous, thunderous variety, and decided to take another look at Dupré's Carillon from the Sept Pièces. Now, I had first learned it umpteen years ago, but had given up on it, disenchanted. But, wait a minute - it comes from the first, (to me) by far more creative half of his composing life, chronologically just after the magnificent Deuxième Symphonie. It can't be all that bad, can it?

 

Unfortunately, trying again to make something of it hasn't changed my opinion. Put simply, I think it's plain boring. IMHO, it hasn't a shadow of the writing of, say, the two Symphonies or of the Suite Bretonne, or of the wonderful Prelude & Fugue in A flat which showed, some years later, that Dupré certainly hadn't lost it.

 

Or have I completely failed to recognise greatness?

 

Rgds,

MJF

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Recently I was asked if I could provide a postlude of the joyous, thunderous variety, and decided to take another look at Dupré's Carillon from the Sept Pièces. Now, I had first learned it umpteen years ago, but had given up on it, disenchanted. But, wait a minute - it comes from the first, (to me) by far more creative half of his composing life, chronologically just after the magnificent Deuxième Symphonie. It can't be all that bad, can it?

 

Unfortunately, trying again to make something of it hasn't changed my opinion. Put simply, I think it's plain boring. IMHO, it hasn't a shadow of the writing of, say, the two Symphonies or of the Suite Bretonne, or of the wonderful Prelude & Fugue in A flat which showed, some years later, that Dupré certainly hadn't lost it.

 

Or have I completely failed to recognise greatness?

 

Rgds,

MJF

Yeeks - sorry, I'd meant to start this under "The Organ and Its Music".

 

MJF

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Its relentless nature wears you down. I can imagine that Joe Public hearing it as a voluntary in a cathedral would find it particularly trying !

Indeed. However, Widor's (in)famous Toccata is surely no less relentless, yet for all its banality it remains effective organ music. Yes, I tire of it for a while after playing it or hearing it too often in any given period, but I can come back to it fresh - and once again find it exciting. This isn't the case with Dupré's Carillon.

 

Rgds,

MJF

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Indeed. However, Widor's (in)famous Toccata is surely no less relentless, yet for all its banality it remains effective organ music. Yes, I tire of it for a while after playing it or hearing it too often in any given period, but I can come back to it fresh - and once again find it exciting. This isn't the case with Dupré's Carillon.

 

Rgds,

MJF

 

In which case, I suggest either the Finale (the fifth movement) from Widor's Sixième Symphonie or the Final (the fifth movement) from Vierne's Sixième Symphonie. Either are good pieces - particularly the second. For that matter, the Final (the sixth movement) from Vierne's Premièr Symphonie makes a good Sortie.

 

Or, if you want to stay with Dupré, you could play his Prélude et Fugue (in B major) Op.7 No. 1.

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In which case, I suggest either the Finale (the fifth movement) from Widor's Sixième Symphonie or the Final (the fifth movement) from Vierne's Sixième Symphonie. Either are good pieces - particularly the second. For that matter, the Final (the sixth movement) from Vierne's Premièr Symphonie makes a good Sortie.

 

Or, if you want to stay with Dupré, you could play his Prélude et Fugue (in B major) Op.7 No. 1.

Ah, the Vierne 6 - there's an ankle-cracker for you ... I have never tried the Final to the Widor 6, although a friend played the entire Symphonie in concert last year, and I thought (again) that I should get around to learning it. Not in the same class as the Vierne, but still in my view it shows very clearly that Widor knew what would sound good on the organ and come across well to listeners, even if the content is slender.

 

The Dupré P&F in B is very fine, such a contrast to the Carillon in effectiveness. I didn't mention it above because the first group of Trois Préludes et Fugues is too far removed in time (1912?) from the Sept Pièces.

 

Rgds,

MJF

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