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Track(s) taken from CDA66978

Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d'Alain, Op 7

composer

Christopher Herrick (organ)
Recording details: January 1997
Hong Kong Cultural Centre, China
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Paul Niederberger
Release date: October 1997
Total duration: 11 minutes 29 seconds
 
1

Other recordings available for download

John Scott (organ)

Reviews

'Familiarity still does not diminish the wonder of such outstanding playing. The organ makes a glorious noise … An outstanding example of imaginative and successful programme planning' (Gramophone)

'Again, Herrick’s playing is exemplary, and the organ is superb' (Choir & Organ)

'Playing of great flair and character in arguably the finest yet of this distinguished series' (Classic CD)
The Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, Op 7, is a tribute to Duruflé’s friend and colleague and the brother of the distinguished organist Marie-Claire Alain, Jehan Alain, who would undoubtedly have become a leading French composer, and whose life was tragically snuffed at the outset of the Second World War in 1940. Duruflé arrived at the theme for this work in the same way that Ravel had done for his Minuet sur le nom d’Haydn: by extending the musical alphabet past H (the German equivalent for B natural) in the following way:

A — I
B — J
C — K
D — L
E — M
F — N
G — O
H — P etc

such that ALAIN comes out as ADAAF. In the final section of the Prélude, Duruflé quotes the theme of Alain’s most popular work, Litanies. The double fugue is a stunning example of contrapuntal writing. The two fugue subjects are expounded separately in compound time: the first is written in quavers, the second in semiquavers. The composer uses the first fugue subject in inversion and stretto; the tension is heightened by closing the distance between the subject entries of the stretto, and the whole ends in a blaze of glory.

from notes by William McVicker © 1990

Other albums featuring this work

Duruflé: The Complete Organ Music
CDH55475
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