Album Review

Posted: Monday 11th August 2003
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Dupré: La France au Calvaire – Organists’ Review

Langlais’ Festival Alleluia gets this disc off to an invigorating start – the rhythmic vitality here is most inspiring. The Alain piece captivates with its simplicity and the Messiaen conveys a contemporary atmosphere by setting a melismatic treble line over harmonies in the under parts which turn out to be mostly major chords.

Dupré’s cantata was written to celebrate the restoration of Rouen’s restored cathedral and its libretto consists of a Prologue in which an allegorical figure La France kneels at the foot of the Cross and begs the dying Christ to forgive her countrymen their sins. In the succeeding movements, six French saints support her plea and the movements are entitled Saint Denis, Sainte Clotilde, Saint Louis, Joan of Arc, Saint Vincent de Paul and Sainte Thérèse. Written for vocal soloists, choir and organ, this is a work of major significance which is given a blazing performance by the Vasari Singers and Jeremy Filsell. The issue of this world premiere recording is an event of major significance.

Roger Fisher
Organists’ Review