The Seventy-Nine Chorales (op. 28) by Marcel Dupré by Ben van Oostenby Ben van Oosten | Het ORGEL | Year 114 | (2018) | Issue 3
Ben van Oosten The Seventy-Nine Chorales (op. 28) by Marcel Dupré
Het ORGEL 114 (2018), nr. 3, 22-29 [summary]
Among the organ works of Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) the ‘Seventy-Nine Chorales – Preparatory to the study of the Bach Chorale-Preludes and based on the melodies of old Chorales used by J.S. Bach’ (opus 28) occupy a special position. They stand in great contrast to the complex and virtuoso works with which this French organist, composer and pedagogue is generally associated.
The Seventy-Nine Chorales are extremely simple and intended for study by the beginning organist. Comparably with Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, these chorale-preludes are not only useful as a study method for elementary organ instruction, but the collection is at the same time a study book for composition and a collection of great musical quality and beauty.
Although one might expect that these accessible chorale-preludes would be very popular among organists and teachers, it must be confirmed that they belong – unjustly – among the most forgotten and undervalued didactic works of the organ repertoire. This article brings the value and the utility of these works to the readers’ attention.