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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22059
Recording details: January 1998
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: August 1998
Total duration: 18 minutes 55 seconds

'Stunning … a revelatory performance, reaching into the very heart of a work in which 'there are dark forces at work' … a real treat … the whole presentation is masterly—superb playing and superb engineering' (Gramophone)

'Thrilling music, thrillingly played' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Superb' (International Record Review)

'Here's a spectacular record' (Classic CD)

'If you seek a recording of Dupré's works which does full justice to the music's myriad shades and inflections in an acoustic which leaves you quite simply in awe, look no further. One could almost imagine Dupré himself improvising the magical sounds pervading St Paul's. Need I say more?' (Cathedral Music)

'John Scott’s understanding and deft touch in Dupré make this collection a must-have' (MusicWeb International)

Deuxième Symphonie, Op 26

Preludio  [8'08]
Intermezzo  [4'32]
Toccata  [6'15]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The composer himself gave the first English performance of the Deuxième Symphonie, Op 26, at the Alexandra Palace on 16 March 1930. Composed in 1929, five years after his first organ symphony, it develops the chromaticism and staccato, already evident in the Symphonie-Passion, which became characteristics of Dupré’s style.

Four elements go to the making of the ‘Preludio’: the harsh and brilliant theme heard at the outset; the following patter of semiquavers which is spun out in the manner of a toccata during the course of the movement; a restless theme scored for the Voix Célestes; and finally a short, fanfare-like phrase which later supplies the final page. The chromaticism of the ‘Intermezzo’, which is in B minor, is anything but lush in effect; rather does it give a pungent tang to its already perky theme. When semiquaver movement is introduced, the theme is repeated in G with the pedals doubling the melody. On its return to B minor the theme is accompanied by an anapaestic rhythm. The ‘Toccata’ is one of Dupré’s most fiery and telling movements. Its principal theme is hammered out at the start under bare fifths. A feature of the movement, and indeed of the entire work, is the chromatic alteration of various degrees of the scale. The resultant augmented intervals give an almost oriental twist to some of the melodic shapes.

from notes by Felix Aprahamian © 1998

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