Marcel Dupré – Symphonie-Passion (1924)

Marcel Dupré was born in Rouen (Normandy, France). Born into a musical family, he was a child prodigy. His father Albert Dupré was organist in Rouen and a friend of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who built an organ in the family house when Marcel was 14 years old. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1904, where he studied with Louis Diémer and Lazare Lévy (piano), Alexandre Guilmant and Louis Vierne (organ), and Charles-Marie Widor (fugue and composition). In 1914, Dupré won the Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata, Psyché. In 1926, he was appointed professor of organ performance and improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire, a position he held until 1954. Dupré became famous for performing more than 2000 organ recitals throughout Australia, the United States, Canada and Europe, which included a recital series of 10 concerts of the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach in 1920 (Paris Conservatoire) and 1921 (Palais du Trocadéro), both performed entirely from memory. The sponsorship of an American transcontinental tour by the John Wanamaker department store interests rocketed his name into international prominence. Dupré’s “Symphonie-Passion” began as an improvisation in a department store on Philadelphia’s Wanamaker Organ.

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