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Marcel Dupré’s intensive performing tours in America from the 1920s onwards prompted his enthusiasm for the developing American organ with its electric actions, standardised consoles and extensive playing aids. This influence manifested itself in his rebuilding of the organ at his home at Meudon, though thankfully not at St Sulpice… On the present disc, British organist David Baskeyfield performs some of Dupré’s fiendish earlier organ works, including the op.7 Preludes & Fugues, Second Symphony and Evocation on the blazing Aeolian- Skinner at ‘Smoky Mary’s’ in New York City. With G. Donald Harrison in the early days of creating the ‘American Classic’, and subsequent expansion of the concept, this organ, with its slightly French-sounding reeds, is very appropriate for Dupré’s scores. Baskeyfield, first prize-winner at numerous international competitions, is entirely unfazed by the technical challenges and plays with both astounding virtuosity and musicality. An interesting inclusion is Dupré’s devilish transcription of Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, discovered in manuscript in the papers of Rolande Falcinelli. Baskeyfield’s outstanding notes about both music and organ are, unfortunately, printed uncomfortably small.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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