Jump to content
Mander Organs
AJJ

Jeanne Demessieux - Op 8

Recommended Posts

While searching out a piece to play following HC tomorrow discovered the Twelve Choral-Preludes on Gregorian Chant Themes, op. 8 which I had previously not encountered. The rather dinky toccata on Veni Creator will suite Pentecost on the rather large device I am due to deputise on but would just work on my usual 1 man. (much nicer) village pipe job. These pieces seem to be rarely played in recitals but are really effective and much more accessible than the 'big stuff' by Demessieux - does anyone else here play them? Also - are there any other composers of the same period with similarly more accessible pieces? I have the various Dupre sets and a little Durufle number published I think after his death.

 

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I play a few of them (or, more accurately, used to). O filii et filiae is great fun and is currently set for ABRSM grade 6 (perhaps a little on the tricky side for the grade?). Rorate coeli is rather lovely and dead easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought these last Autumn and only ever played the first, 'Rorate Coeli', which is lovely indeed. However, considering they are on Amazon for about £4.50 with free delivery you can't go wrong even if you play just one of them. I probably will invest some time in them...eventually! The perennial problem of having too much music in the cupboard! These are 20th century French, approachable and cheap to buy - what a rare combination indeed!!

 

For the record, my lot are getting Tambling 'Shine Jesus Shine' from the OUP Lent & Easter book tomorrow (with apologies to pcnd!). I also like Denis Bedard's 'Veni Creator' - the last of his '6 Paraphrases Gregoriennes' - another nice set which aren't at all difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think these pieces are beautiful, and certainly don't possess the insurmountable technical problems that the likes of the etudes etc do. Rorate Coeli is lovely, but the setting of the Lent Litany 'Attende Domine' is in my top 5 organ pieces, to my mind it really is that beautiful. O Filli always goes down well with congregations as well.

 

Similiar music? It's a bit less structured but what about the Meditation by Durufle? The Henri Mulet collection Esquisses Byzantines also has some very nice movements in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will put it down to the circles I move in, but I am surprised that the Twelve Chorale Preludes have only now been discovered by AJJ. They were published in 1950 in response to a request from an American publisher for less demanding music that would be suitable for students; Dupré's Le Tombeau de Titelouze serves as her model. They were long out of print, and it is very good that their republication relatively recently has ensured a still wider demand. In the original manuscript, five of the preludes are marked with an asterisk as being the composer's own favourites, viz:

  • Tu es Petrus
  • Rorate caeli
  • Ubi caritas
  • Veni Creator
  • Attende, Domine

Among recordings, I am aware of those of some/all of the preludes by Graham Barber (1985) and Adrian Gunning (1994), as well as the more recent ones of Demessieux's entire oeuvre by Maxime Patel and Stephen Tharp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to hear all these posts - I found the pieces via the Stephen Tharp complete set as mentioned by wolsley but having not had time to listen to all the music they onbly revealed themselves recently. Previously I had only come across the Etudes, Te Deum and Répons pour le temps de pâques in performances by those of a far higher standard than I could ever manage to aspire to. The new American edition is welcome and presumably not as expensive as some scores from France.

 

A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played a few of them before, Attende Domine being my favourite of the lot. Other useful collections of a similar nature are the set of 24 Pieces by Andre Fleury, and the 50 Pieces by Henri Nibelle (the latter all based on Gregorian themes). Both are probably a little more pricey than the norm, but I find them invaluable. Others which spring to mind are the Langlais 24 Pieces, the Dupre 12 Gregorian Chorale Preludes / 24 Inventions, and some of the sets by Flor Peeters. Once again, prices may vary!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...