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Organ Masterpieces by Franck and Dupré
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Organ Masterpieces by Franck & Dupré
David Schrader, organ
Cedille Records CDR 90000 015

"Schrader finds a perfect balance between [Franck's] religious solemnity and the warm, glowing solace of his music." (Chicago Tribune)

"In sum, a fascinating instrument exhibited in distinctive performances of a generous, happily chosen program wrapped into a first-rate production. Enthusiastically recommended." (Fanfare)

For his third organ recording on Cedille Records, keyboard artist David Schrader explores the chromatic development of French organ music in a program that characteristically sets out to engage listeners' intellects.

The intelligently programmed, vivid-sounding recording of music by César Franck and Marcel Dupré is performed by Schrader on the Jaeckel Organ at the Pilgrim Congregational Church, Duluth, Minnesota. Completed in 1988, the organ is modeled on the 19th-century French organs of Cavaillé-Coll.

Schrader's approach to the Franck Prelude, Fugue & Variation is poignant and lilting, in stark contrast to the fast, mechanical tempos heard on other recordings. Schrader also marches to an unconventional beat with the lovely Cantabile, which Cedille producer Jim Ginsburg says is usually performed too sluggishly. On Dupré's playful "Variations on a Noël", Schrader makes the most of the music's almost carnival calliope aspects, taking the listener on a vertiginous, dreamlike carousel ride, concluding with the tortuous toccata -- all performed on a completely mechanical, "suspended" key action instrument. Such an instrument "allows for greater nuance in interpretation and far greater muscular and aerobic exercise," Schrader writes in the liner notes.
Click here to download the CD booklet.

Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

PROGRAM (67:20)

CESAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
1. Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Op. 18 (11:08)
2. Fantasy in A (13:05)
3. Cantabile (4:47)
4. Piece Heroique (7:34)
5. Pastorale, Op. 19 (8:29)
6. Final, Op. 21 (11:20)

MARCEL Dupre (1886-1971)
7. Variations on a Noel, Op. 20 (10:15)

Recorded: March 10 & 11, 1993, Duluth, Minnesota / Producer: James Ginsburg / Engineer: Bill Maylone / Front Cover : David Schrader inside the organ chamber. Photo by Eric S. Lieber / Design: Cheryl A Boncuore / Notes: Easley Blackwood