Marie-Claire Alain

Biography

Born: August 10, 1926; Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France   Died: February, 26 2013; Le Pecq, France  
Marie-Claire Alain was the youngest child in a family of distinguished musicians, born August 10, 1926, in St. Germain-en Laye, a Paris suburb. Her father, Albert Alain, a composer and amateur organ builder, had been a pupil of Guilmant and Fauré. Her sister Odile was a promising soprano and pianist who lost her life early in a mountaineering accident; her older brother, Olivier, was a composer, pianist, and musicologist. Her oldest Read more brother was the renowned Jehan Alain, a composer and organist whose teachers included Dupré, Dukas, and Jean Roger-Ducasse. He numbered Messiaen and Poulenc among his closest friends and his works for organ -- Litanies, in particular -- established him as one of the brightest stars among rising French composers in the decade before his battlefield death in 1940, at 29. A twin sense of loss and inheritance informed her studies and career.

With the allied liberation of Paris in August 1944, she entered the Paris Conservatoire, studying with Dupré for organ, Pié-Caussade for counterpoint and fugue, and Maurice Duruflé for harmony. Duruflé composed one of the finest of his small but masterly group of organ works as an hommage to Marie-Claire's brother, the Prélude et fugue sur le nom d'Alain, Op. 7 (1942). She studied with Duruflé from 1944 until 1950, schoolwork being augmented by private lessons. During her Conservatoire years, she carried off four Premier Prix. After the inauguration of her career in 1950, she took a prize for organ at the Geneva International Competition and gave her first public recital. The Amis de Orgue awarded her the Bach Prize in 1951. After a further two years of study with Gaston Litaize, she took up her career in earnest, giving well over 2000 recitals worldwide. Her recordings number in the hundreds, and she twice recorded the complete organ works of Bach. By the 1980s, she had become known as a specialist in seventeenth and eighteenth century music, with numerous recordings of works by Couperin, Grigny, Daquin, Vivaldi, Buxtehude, Pachelbel, Handel, C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, and Mozart -- among many others -- to her credit. But she also made distinguished recordings of Romantic repertoire with albums of works by Mendelssohn, César Franck, Liszt, Widor, Vierne, Poulenc, and Jehan Alain -- whose punctilious execution is suffused with passion -- carrying into the twenty-first century living traditions extending to the middle of the nineteenth. Read less
Bach: Complete Works for Organ / Alain
Release Date: 09/17/2007   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 4699028   Number of Discs: 15
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Browse 1-25 of 28 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Late Years - Erato and HMV Recordings, 1968-75 / Martinon
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552547 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Albert Roussel,  Aram Khachaturian,  Gabriel Pierné,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Lily Laskine,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
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  • 2.
    Jean-Pierre Rampal: The Complete Erato Recordings, Vol. 3 1970-1982
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552118 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Johann Melchoir Molter,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Aram Khachaturian,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Pierre Barbizet,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Claudio Scimone,  Jean Martinon,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Trio Pasquier,  Les Solistes De Liège
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  • 3.
    Simply The Best Classical Anthems
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 550583 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giovanni Bottesini,  Carl Orff,  Gustav Holst,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alain Lombard,  Zubin Mehta,  Southend Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Choir  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
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  • 4.
    Les Triomphes De Jean-pierre Rampal
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 631358 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean-Marie Leclair,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix,  Edith Picht-Axenfeld,  Piano] Edith [Harpsichord Picht-Axenfeld  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Jean-François Paillard,  Karl Ristenpart,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
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  • 5.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 6.
    Liszt: Evocation Of The Sistine Chapel, Fantasy And Fugue / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 665859 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 7.
    Bach: Complete Organ Works / Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4676018 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 8.
    Music For A Royal Wedding
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4674219 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Jorgen Ernst Hansen,  Placido Domingo,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Camille Maurane  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Edward Higginbottom,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capricorn (Ensemble),  Il Giardino Armonico
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  • 9.
    The Bach Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 80821 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Angela Maria Blasi,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Alan Curtis,  Ton Koopman  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Ton Koopman,  Hans Gillesberger
    CD: $16.99
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  • 10.
    History Of The Organ Vol 4 - The Modern Age
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102153 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jehan-Ariste Alain,  Olivier Messiaen,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Various
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain,  Louis Robilliard,  Ton Koopman,  René Saorgin  ... 
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  • 11.
    Organs Toccatas & Fantasias /  Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4387 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 12.
    Marie-claire Alain Plays Organ Pieces By Mendelssohn
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 88112 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 13.
    Poulenc: Concerto Pour Orgue, Concert Champêtre / Conlon, Alain, Koopman
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 88141 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain,  Ton Koopman
    Conductor:  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Bach: Complete Works for Organ / Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4699028 Release Date: 09/17/2007   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 15.
    Franck: Complete Organ Works (1976 Recordings) / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 461428 Release Date: 07/26/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  César Franck
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    CD: $15.99
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  • 16.
    Messiaen Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 62162 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
    Performer:  Jeanne Loriod,  Yvonne Loriod,  Dominique Kim,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard  ... 
    Conductor:  Marcel Couraud,  Kent Nagano,  Marius Constant,  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Chamber Orchestra,  ORTF Women's Chorus,  ORTF Chorus  ... 
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  • 17.
    Alain: Complete Works for Organ Vol 1 / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 80214 Release Date: 02/06/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jehan-Ariste Alain
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 18.
    Alain: Complete Works For Organ Vol 2 / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 385773 Release Date: 02/06/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jehan-Ariste Alain
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 19.
    Fauré: Requiem / Michel Corboz
    Label: Erato In Excelsis   Catalog: 17897 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Arlette Steyer,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Alain Clément,  Philippe Corboz  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Frémaux,  Jean Sourisse,  Michel Corboz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra,  Philippe Caillard Chorale,  Audite Nova Vocal Ensemble  ... 
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  • 20.
    The Wedding Album
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 99709 Release Date: 02/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Pierlot,  Rotraud Hansmann,  Felicity Lott,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Corboz,  Claudio Scimone,  Jean-François Paillard,  Theodor Guschlbauer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berne Symphony Orchestra,  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle,  I Solisti Veneti  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 21.
    Christmas Organ Music -  Bach, Dandrieu, Daquin, Etc / Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 10703 Release Date: 11/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Olivier Messiaen,  Claude-Béninge Balbastre,  Jean-François Dandrieu  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 22.
    Widor: Organ Symphonies Nos 3, 4 & 9 / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 98534 Release Date: 08/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 23.
    Albert And Jehan Alain: Organ Works / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 683 Release Date: 07/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Alain,  Jehan-Ariste Alain
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 24.
    The Ultimate Baroque Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 92876 Release Date: 10/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  François Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  Wilbert Hazelzet,  Roy Goodman,  Ton Koopman,  Dorina Frati  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Ton Koopman,  Claudio Scimone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  English Baroque Soloists,  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 25.
    Bach: Die Kunst Der Fuge Bwv 1080 / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 91946 Release Date: 07/06/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    On sale! $24.98
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