Buxtehude: Organ Works / Marie-Claire Alain, organ Jul13

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Apex - Warner Classics Record Label - Apex: Apex is a Warner Classics label
Release date: 2013-04-30


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Buxtehude: Organ Works / Marie-Claire Alain, organ


The brilliant French organist Marie-Claire Alain passed away earlier this year at the age of 86. Ms. Alain (1926-2013) came from a long line of celebrated organists, including her father, Albert Alain and brothers Jehan and Olivier. A graduate of the Paris Conservatory, she studied with Maurice Duruflé and counted Marcel Dupré as one of her classmates. Among her many accomplishments, she was a prize winner at the Geneva International Music Competition in 1950 and won four first prizes while a student at the Paris Conservatory. She was also the most recorded organist in history with 260 recordings (including three complete cycles of the works of J.S. Bach!) to her credit.

Marie-Claire Alain was known for her meticulous attention to detail, historically informed performance practice, and the careful matching of her instrument to the music at hand. Her repertoire was broad, but she was recognized in particular for her interpretations of music of the Romantic period - Mendelssohn, Franck, Saint-Saëns - and of the Baroque. In addition to Bach, she recorded Vivaldi, Handel and C.P.E. Bach as well as giving us pioneering recordings of the music of Couperin, de Grigny, Pachelbel and of the German Baroque master Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), who was active a generation before J.S. Bach and is widely considered one of the most significant composers of the middle Baroque.

And this brings us to our recording. This attractively priced two CD set of select Chorals, Preludes, Toccatas and Ciaconas by Buxtehude was originally recorded by Ms. Alain for the Erato label on September 30, 1986. It has recently been reissued on Apex, a division of Warner Classics. I've provided for you to listen to, the complete Praeludium in D major, BuxWV 139 - wonderful music performed by a legend of our own time.

J.S. Bach: Organs, Toccatas & Fantasias - Part 1/6 / Marie-Claire Alain