Jeanne Demessieux: The Decca Legacy | Australian Eloquence ELQ4841424

Jeanne Demessieux: The Decca Legacy

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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4841424

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 8

Release Date: 16th April 2021

Contents

Works

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Bist du bei mir, BWV508
Cantata BWV29 'Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir'
» Sinfonia (Presto) (arr. Dupre)
Chorale Prelude BWV622 'O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sunde gross'
Chorale Prelude BWV641 'Wenn wir in hochsten Noten sein'
Chorale Prelude BWV659 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland'
Chorale Prelude BWV684 'Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam'
Chorale Prelude BWV688 'Jesus Christus, unser Heiland'
Chorale Prelude BWV721 'Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott'
Chorale Prelude BWV731 'Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier'
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV542
Fantasia in G major, BWV572 'Piece d'orgue'
Fugue in G major, BWV577 'a la gigue'
Komm, susser Tod, BWV478
Organ Concerto in A minor, BWV593 (after Vivaldi)
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV543
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV532
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV564
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV565
Toccata and Fugue in F major, BWV540
Warum betrubst du dich, BWV516

Berveiller, Jean

Mouvement

Buxtehude, Dieterich

Fugue in C major, BuxWV174

Clarke, Jeremiah

Trumpet Voluntary 'Prince of Denmark's March' (arr. Marcel Dupre)

Demessieux, Jeanne

Improvisation on a theme submitted by Adrian Beaumont
Te Deum for solo organ, op.11

Franck, Cesar

Chorales (3)
Pieces (3) for organ
Pieces (6) for organ

Handel, George Frideric

Organ Concertos (6), op.4 HWV289-294
» no.1 in G minor, HWV289
» no.2 in B flat major, HWV290

Liszt, Franz

Fantasia and Fugue on 'Ad nos, ad Salutarem undam' by Meyerbeer, S259
Prelude and Fugue on the name B-A-C-H, S260

Mendelssohn, Felix

Organ Sonata in A major, op.65 no.3
» I Con moto maestoso

Messiaen, Olivier

L'Ascension (organ)
» III Transports de joie d'une ame devant la gloire du Christ qui est la sienne

Mignan, Edouard

Toccata medievale

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K546
» I Adagio (arr. Jeanne Demessieux)
Fantasia in F minor for Mechanical Organ, K608
Fugue in C minor for 2 pianos, K426 (arr. Marcel Dupre)

Schutz, Heinrich

Eile mich Gott zu erretten, SWV282

Widor, Charles-Marie

Organ Symphony no.5 in F minor, op.42 no.1
» I Allegro Vivace
» V Toccata
Organ Symphony no.6 in G minor, op.42 no.2
» I Allegro
Organ Symphony no.9 in C minor, op.70 'Gothique'
» IV Variations on 'Puer natus est'

Artists

Jeanne Demessieux (organ)
Suzanne Danco (soprano)
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Conductor

Ernest Ansermet

Works

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Bist du bei mir, BWV508
Cantata BWV29 'Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir'
» Sinfonia (Presto) (arr. Dupre)
Chorale Prelude BWV622 'O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sunde gross'
Chorale Prelude BWV641 'Wenn wir in hochsten Noten sein'
Chorale Prelude BWV659 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland'
Chorale Prelude BWV684 'Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam'
Chorale Prelude BWV688 'Jesus Christus, unser Heiland'
Chorale Prelude BWV721 'Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott'
Chorale Prelude BWV731 'Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier'
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV542
Fantasia in G major, BWV572 'Piece d'orgue'
Fugue in G major, BWV577 'a la gigue'
Komm, susser Tod, BWV478
Organ Concerto in A minor, BWV593 (after Vivaldi)
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV543
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV532
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV564
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV565
Toccata and Fugue in F major, BWV540
Warum betrubst du dich, BWV516

Berveiller, Jean

Mouvement

Buxtehude, Dieterich

Fugue in C major, BuxWV174

Clarke, Jeremiah

Trumpet Voluntary 'Prince of Denmark's March' (arr. Marcel Dupre)

Demessieux, Jeanne

Improvisation on a theme submitted by Adrian Beaumont
Te Deum for solo organ, op.11

Franck, Cesar

Chorales (3)
Pieces (3) for organ
Pieces (6) for organ

Handel, George Frideric

Organ Concertos (6), op.4 HWV289-294
» no.1 in G minor, HWV289
» no.2 in B flat major, HWV290

Liszt, Franz

Fantasia and Fugue on 'Ad nos, ad Salutarem undam' by Meyerbeer, S259
Prelude and Fugue on the name B-A-C-H, S260

Mendelssohn, Felix

Organ Sonata in A major, op.65 no.3
» I Con moto maestoso

Messiaen, Olivier

L'Ascension (organ)
» III Transports de joie d'une ame devant la gloire du Christ qui est la sienne

Mignan, Edouard

Toccata medievale

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K546
» I Adagio (arr. Jeanne Demessieux)
Fantasia in F minor for Mechanical Organ, K608
Fugue in C minor for 2 pianos, K426 (arr. Marcel Dupre)

Schutz, Heinrich

Eile mich Gott zu erretten, SWV282

Widor, Charles-Marie

Organ Symphony no.5 in F minor, op.42 no.1
» I Allegro Vivace
» V Toccata
Organ Symphony no.6 in G minor, op.42 no.2
» I Allegro
Organ Symphony no.9 in C minor, op.70 'Gothique'
» IV Variations on 'Puer natus est'

Artists

Jeanne Demessieux (organ)
Suzanne Danco (soprano)
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Conductor

Ernest Ansermet

About

From her legendary debut through the succeeding years, Jeanne Demessieux brought virtuosity allied to intellect and sensitivity, and went on to become the glory of the French organ school. This 8-CD celebration of one of the instrument’s most spoken-of, yet enigmatic figures, brings together for the first time her complete Decca recordings and a previously unpublished BBC Radio broadcast, and is released to mark the centenary of her birth.

It includes Demessieux’s legendary Franck recordings; her recordings from St Mark’s, North Audley Street, London, many released for the first time since the original 78s; little-known recordings of sacred songs with Demessieux accompanying the Belgian soprano, Suzanne Danco; and an improvisation on a submitted theme from the only extant BBC radio broadcast with Demessieux, which also includes Bach, Buxtehude, Widor and Messiaen.

All recordings have been carefully remastered by Mark Obert-Thorn and Chris Bernauer.

The accompanying booklet includes details of Demessieux’s unpublished recordings, rare photos and facsimiles of some of her programmes, extensive notes, including details of some of the recording sessions; and notes on the instruments and full specifications for each of the five organs.

Demessieux’s relationship with Decca began in May 1947, just a year after her legendary Paris debut, and this collection of all her commercial recordings spans the whole of her public career. She was one of the first women to achieve stardom in the world of the organ – a dimly-lit, often cloistered demi-monde dominated by men throughout its history.

Now, a hundred years after her birth, she remains one of the instrument’s most spoken-of, yet enigmatic, figures. Few organists have ever achieved such fame. In the middle of the twentieth century she was one of the world’s most famous instrumentalists, the undisputed doyenne of organists.

Jeanne Marie-Madeleine Demessieux was born in the provincial city of Montpellier on 13 February 1921 and in her all too brief life rose to become the glory of the French organ school. Virtuoso organist-composer-improviser hors de pair in the great French virtuoso tradition, after studies with Lazare Lévy, Léila Gousseau, Magda Tagliaferro and Noël Gallon, Demessieux became heir to the great French organ tradition imbibed from her ‘maître’ Marcel Dupré. As a performer, she was without equal; as an artist, she breathed life into the repertoire, and transfigured every piece she played, revealing works anew through her intellect, ingenuity and sensitivity. As a composer, she enlarged the technical possibilities and expanded the expressive dimensions of the organ literature. And as a teacher, her pupils included the remarkable names of Marie Madeleine Duruflé, Louis Thiry and Pierre Labric. Poulenc, Messiaen and Langlais were among her most fervent admirers.

Demessieux’s life was one of both struggle and glory. Having fought – and for the most part, overcome – intransigent modes of thinking about gender, imbroglios in the highly politicized organ world, and fragile health, Demessieux left us almost as suddenly as her radiance was revealed – her premature death seizing from us witness to any more of her transcendental visions. Yet wherever she played, ‘in all her most glorious triumphs Jeanne Demessieux never departed from the natural simplicity which gave her so much charm. The glory gave her an aura without affecting her. The international press, much more than in France, admired her without any reserve and discovered in her an exceptional person, who was already a legend in her own lifetime,’ wrote her pupil Pierre Labric.

‘Jeanne Demessieux is the greatest organist of all generations’ – Marcel Dupré

‘In the world of the arts, a fairy tale evokes either annoyance or delight. But one must believe it, when the unique and prodigious character happens to be a young lady, 25 years of age, who from the very first moment of her public appearance manifested herself as the irresistible absolute perfection.’
– Le Figaro

‘You have before you a very great artist, a magnificent mind, a star of the organ, capable of succeeding me. She will be – I’m sure of this – one of the greatest glories of France.’
– Marcel Dupré

‘Next to Jeanne Demessieux we all play the pedals like elephants!’ – Maurice Duruflé
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