Maurice Duruflé

The Complete Organ Works

Herndon Spillman

Recorded May 21 - 27, 1973 in Pithviers, France.

Executive Producer: Ralph Dopmeyer
Design: Philidor Company, Boston
Cover photograph: François Berdoll

Total playing time: 76:35


  • Prélude, Adagio, et Choral varié sur le "Veni Creator" opus 4
  • Prélude et Fugue sur le nom de ALAIN, opus 7
  • Scherzo, opus 2
  • Prélude sur l-introït de l'Épiphanie
  • Fugue sur le Carillon des heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons
  • Entretien de Maurice Duruflé avec Pierre Cochereau

About the Performer

Herndon Spillman was born in Huntsville, Alabama, where he began his early musical training. After his study at Dillard University, Boston University, and Indiana University, he came to Paris to continue his formation under the direction of Maurice Duruflé, Andre Marchal and Marie-Claire Alain. For his doctoral thesis, "The Organ Works of Maurice Duruflé," he conducted extensive research under the guidance of the composer.

By his appearances at Nôtre-Dame cathedral, l'Office de Radiodiffusion- Télévision, and the Federation Francophone des Amis de l'Orgue, this young American organist has gained a reputation as an organist of exceptional technique and musicality and a specialist in the interpretation of the organ music of Maurice Duruflé.

In 1974 he was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque from the Académie du Disque Français for the first complete recording of the complete organ works of Maurice Duruflé. He was awarded the Doctorate of Music in Organ from Indiana University in 1975 and currently coordinates the organ program in the School of Music at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is managed in North America by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.

About the Instrument

There are several reasons why the organ of Saint-Salomon-Saint-Grégoire in Pithiviers, France was chosen to record the complete organ works of Maurice Duruflé. The instrument was first constructed in 1786 by Jean-Baptiste Isnard and contained 4 manuals. This instrument was completely transformed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1890 into an instrument typical of the period. It possessed 3 keyboards. Robert Boisseau of Poitiers, in 1962, restored some of the older Isnard pipes that Cavaillé-Coll had taken out. The result of Isnard-Cavaillé-Coll-Boisseau is an instrument that combines Classic and Romantic concepts of organ building, and the mixture of the two adapts perfectly to the organ music of Maurice Duruflé. It was dedicated in April of 1962 by the composer and his wife, Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier.

The console, like most in France, is mechanical and therefore the quick changes called for in this music were accomplished by several assistants that were placed on either side of the organist in order to pull the stops at the desired moment. This instrument was chosen specifically because of the mechanical console since the interpreter feels that the nuances, so vital to the music, may be accomplished by perfect touch control and executed with great ease on a mechanical organ of this type.

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