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 26-48 of 48 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Handel - The Ultimate Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 18502 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Paul Elliott,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Lily Laskine,  Marilyn Horne  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Ton Koopman,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Claudio Scimone  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  The Sixteen,  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    (The) Power And The Glory
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 1049264 Release Date: 03/27/2007  
    Composer:  Karl Jenkins,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Charles Hubert Parry,  John Rutter  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain,  Charles Craig
    Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger,  Philip Moore,  Ian Tracey,  Maurice Handford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  York Minster Choir  ... 
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  • 28.
    Bach: Organ Masterpieces Vol 2 / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Elatus   Catalog: 49526 Release Date: 05/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 29.
    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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    CD: $74.49
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  • 30.
    Gounod: Messe Chorale;  Saint-saëns / Corboz, Alain, Et Al
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 389235 Release Date: 04/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Charles Gounod
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain,  André Luy,  Isabel Balmori-Padesca,  Annelise Theodoloz  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Corboz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Vocal Ensemble
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  • 31.
    Widor: Organ Symphonies 4, 5, 6, 9 / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 62297 Release Date: 10/10/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 32.
    Poulenc: Organ Concerto; Durufle: Three Dances; Alain: Organ Works / Kantorow, Alain, Bamberger Symphoniker
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4619122 Release Date: 03/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Duruflé,  Jehan Alain
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Saint-saens: Symphony No 3, Etc;  Poulenc / Martinon, Et Al
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 89244 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Berlioz: Te Deum / Alagna, Alain, Nelson, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 45449 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna,  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  John Nelson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris,  Maitrise de Ste.-Marie d'Antony,  Paris Opera Children's Chorus
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    Duruflé: Requiem, Messe
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56878 Release Date: 02/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Duruflé
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Marie-Claire Alain
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orféon Donostiarra,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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  ... 
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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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
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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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
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  • 45.
    Les Plus Belle Pages De L'orgue / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45976 Release Date: 05/11/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Léon Boëllmann,  Louis Vierne  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 46.
    Fauré: Requiem, Elegie, Messe Basse / Michel Corboz, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45116 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Frédéric Lodéon,  Philippe Corboz,  Philippe Huttenlocher,  Alain Clément  ... 
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan,  Michel Corboz,  Jean Sourisse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Pierre aux Liens de Bulle Choir,  Berne Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    Carols For Organ - Daquin, Et Al / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45455 Release Date: 08/12/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude-Béninge Balbastre,  Louis-Claude Daquin,  Jean-François Dandrieu,  Pierre Dandrieu  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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  • 48.
    Bach: Toccata & Fugue, Etc / Marie-claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45188 Release Date: 08/10/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
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