Thanks to generous support from the Marcel Dupre Society in France, we were able to completely
restore and remaster all of the Mercury recordings, using the first-generation 3-track tapes. All of
the Mercury recordings received Plangent Process transfers and restoration, and new 3-2 mixes were
made in 192/24 resolution. The results have been very favorably received so far.
This music is not just for pipe organ fanatics. Dupre was a musical genius, and his playing and
improvisation was wholy unique. The organ recorded at St. Thomas Church in NYC does not exist in
that form anymore (in fact, the entire Aeolian-Skinner organ there is slated to be discarded as soon
as they raise funds to put in a new organ, see the St. Thomas Church website). The organ recorded in
Ford Auditorium in Detroit was dismantled when the building was demolished. It was slated to be
re-installed in a Detroit church, but I do not know if that happened. The organ recorded at Church
of St. Sulpice in Paris was modified in more recent times and sounds somewhat different from what
Dupre played in 1959.
I'm very proud of how these turned out, particularly disc 10, the Saint-Saens 3rd Symphony with Paul
Paray and the Detroit Symphony. This is one the long-time favorites in the Mercury catalog, and
previous issues sounded pretty damn good. I do think we took it up a notch here, between the
benefits of a modern playback clarifying the tone of everything and the Plangent Process fixing the
mechanical time-smear. Jamie Howarth was able to do some phenomenal restoration work, fixing almost
all of the dropouts and other splice-caused oxide damage.
Bottom line, the whole thing is an ear treat both musically and sound-wise. Listen on full range
speakers and be prepared to give your woofers a workout!
-- Tom Fine