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
Browse 1-25 of 48 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Buxtehude: Organ Works / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 51790 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 3.
    Domenico Cimarosa: Requiem
    Label: Ligia   Catalog: 1092455 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Domenico Cimarosa,  Charles Gounod,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Valerie Gabail,  Katalin Varkonyi,  Etienne Lescroart,  Ronan Nédélec  ... 
    Conductor:  Jérémie Rhorer,  Olivier Vernet,  Joel Suhubiette,  Jean-Marc Andrieu  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre,  La Philharmonie de Chambre,  Nice Baroque Ensemble  ... 
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  • 4.
    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
    CD: $8.99
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  • 5.
    Liszt: Missa Choralis, Via Crucis / Sourisse, Audite Nova De Paris
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 665858 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Regis Oudot,  Donna Brown,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Michel Piquemal  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Sourisse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Audite Nova Vocal Ensemble
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  • 6.
    The Liszt Experience / Berezovsky, Hoffmann, Leonskaja, Aimard, Alain
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 72554 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky,  György Sebok,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Kurt Masur,  Jean Sourisse,  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Audite Nova Vocal Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Court Of The Sun King - The Glory Of The French Baroque
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 675239 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Nicolas Bernier,  Louis Marchand  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain,  Maurice André,  Georges Abdoun,  Martha Angelici  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Martini,  Jean-François Paillard,  Louis Devos,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Chorale des Jeunesses Musicales de France,  A Coeur Joie Vocal Ensemble  ... 
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    CD: $48.99
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  • 8.
    Bach: Complete Organ Works / Marie-Claire 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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    CD: $68.99
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  • 9.
    History Of The Organ - From Latin Origins To The Modern Age
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107508 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Pierre Attaingnant,  Antonio De Cabezón,  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Francisco Correa de Arauxo  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Foccroulle,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Hans Heintze,  André Isoir  ... 
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  • 10.
    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 [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Camille Maurane  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Edward Higginbottom,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capricorn (Ensemble),  Il Giardino Armonico
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    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: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Mozart: Church Sonatas / Alain, Paillard Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 5046666952 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 13.
    Saint-saens: Symphony Nos. 2 & 3   / Alain, Pretre, Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 2564680709 Release Date: 11/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Mendelssohn Edition, Vol. 5 - Keyboard & Chamber Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4692674 Release Date: 07/13/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Annie D’arco,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Olivier Charlier,  Maxim Vengerov  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fontenay Trio,  Kreuzberger String Quartet,  Éder String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 15.
    Poulenc: Organ Concerto; Concert Champetre / Alain, Veyron-lacroix
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 6666962 Release Date: 05/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 16.
    Saint-saens: Symphony No 3,  / Martinon, Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 5046655642 Release Date: 05/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Haydn: Concertos / Entremont, Koopman, Alain, Zehetmair
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 517686 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont,  Ton Koopman,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Jean-François Paillard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 18.
    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  ... 
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    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
    DVD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Adagios - Albinoni, Bach, Beethoven
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4695495 Release Date: 08/18/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alison Bury,  Monica Huggett,  Jos Konings,  Paul Dombrecht  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Jean-François Paillard,  Ton Koopman,  Michel Corboz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Bach: Complete Works For Organ Vol 11 / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 96744 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 24.
    Bach: Complete Works For Organ Vol 7 / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 96724 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 25.
    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: $11.99
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