The Cortège et Litanie began as five pieces of incidental music requested by a playwright friend and originally written for small orchestra. Then, on one of his American tours, Dupré was overheard playing the piece privately on the piano and was encouraged by another friend, the American impresario Alexander Russell, to transcribe it for organ: ‘You have the time … on the railway journey. It’ll be superb!’ And so it was. Later, Dupré wrote the version for organ and orchestra which he first gave in America on the huge Wanamaker organ with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Stokowski.
from notes by Felix Aprahamian © 1998