Thanks Richard! This makes me feel good, to get a good report from someone who's actually heard and
recorded a bunch of pipe organs. As you'll hear, the French organs sound very different from
Aeolian-Skinners. I was amazed at the trippy sounds Dupre was able to get out of the Saint-Sulpice
instrument in particular. Check out CD4 cuts 2-12 CD7 cut 7. That's in the Moog league of trippy
sounds from an analog instrument.
Regarding the subway, highly annoying! It was the story behind the dozens of splices in fragile
acetate tapes. Oy.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2015 4:33 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Mercury Living Presence Marcel Dupré Box Set
I received the Marcel Dupré Box Set a couple of days ago from Amazon.CA
for a very reasonable price. I had used their low-price pre-order system
and received a substantial reduction from the originally quoted price.
I'm very happy.
All I can say is FANTASTIC! I haven't even gotten into the Paris and
Rouen recordings yet, just have spent time with the St. Thomas and Ford
The fact that the St. Thomas recordings were made a year after the
rebuilding of the organ by G. Donald Harrison--a project that
precipitated his death--means this is a very important milestone
recording of one of the great examples of Aeolian-Skinner organ building
at its peak, played by one of the great organists of all time.
As you have noted, a flood damaged that shortly after the recording was
made and the Gilbert Adams renovations to the organ have not fared well
and also, as you have noted, a MAJOR renovation is in the works,
although the leading light behind that renovation, Dr. John Scott, the
replacement for the late Dr. Gerre Hancock (my friend and mentor), has
also died, unexpectedly at a young age.
I am very impressed with the sound that the Mercury team obtained on the
St. Thomas recordings, having recorded the later incarnation of that
organ many times, including for a record released in the past on my own
label, featuring Dr. Judith Hancock performing Mozart and Dupré. I need
to check if the precise same pieces are on my recording and the MLP set.
That will be a fun comparison. Judith is a superb organist.
I do appreciate the Saint Saëns Organ Symphony and it is interesting to
compare the new CD version to the Box Set #2 version. I will, at some
point, do a careful comparison, but for now, I've just enjoyed
I also became enthralled reading the diary excerpts in the book. Totally
fascinating. Your mother made quite the impression on Mme. Dupré. And
yes, the subway is one of the main non-joys of recording at St. Thomas.
The cost of ameliorating that is phenomenal. While in theory it could be
done, the price prohibits it.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.