An old organ and older music make a good match: Berkshire Bach presents German organ music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, The Berkshire Edge (2/21/23)
The Well-Tempered Future: AGO Seattle 2022, The American Organist (October 2022)
“The second half of the concert featured concertos by Judith Bingham and David Briggs, brilliantly performed by soloist Renée Anne Louprette. Her registrations in Jacob’s Ladder by Bingham evoked the imagery of the biblical subjects and were perfectly balanced with the orchestra. With its many technical challenges, Briggs’s Concerto for Organ, Strings, Harp, and Percussion demands the utmost from the organist. Louprette was indomitable, delivering a scintillating performance that had the audience on its feet in admiration.”
~Kimberly Marshall and Rhonda Sider Edgington
A many-sided Bach on the organ, The Berkshire Eagle (2/11/20)
“(Louprette’s) touch was secure, her choice of tone colors imaginative, lending each piece a distinctive flavor…A crazed cadenza that came out of nowhere showed Louprette in a virtuoso light.”
Minting New Conductors at Bard, The Millbrook Independent (3/31/19)
“Louprette’s conducting gestures were genial, precise, and graceful. A student of James Bagwell and concert recital organist, she appeared to have an intimate rapport with the large chorus that ringed the orchestra.”
Organ Pipes with Uilleann Pipes: An Unusual Duo Concert, American Musical Instrument Society (11/7/18)
“The result was an entrancing sonic blend. At times the uillean pipes would combine into the organ’s ensemble, with a reedy tone not so different from that of a cromorne. But then Goff would slide between pitches or add a subtle microtonal ornament, effects impossible on the larger instrument. Though the two instruments each have their own distinct musical traditions and cultures, in the capable hands of Louprette and Goff the pairing seemed completely natural and almost inevitable.”
Bright Vision, Choir & Organ, July 2019
Une voix française, Choir & Organ, January 2019
Une Voix Française – A French Voice: 20th-Century Organ Masterworks: Renée Anne Louprette, Andrew Benson-Wilson (10/28/18)
“Renée Anne Louprette spent time studying in France, and her knowledge of the French school of composition and organ building is clearly immense. She plays with a strength of conviction of a fine musical mind, and an impressive degree of technical skill that makes the most virtuosic moments spellbinding.”
Critic’s Notebook: An L.A. Phil festival with Bird, beer, Moby, Hancock and new music galore, Los Angeles Times (10/15/18)
“…The week’s new music proved meaningful and memorable. In her organ recital, Renée Anne Louprette was joined by Irish piper Ivan Goff for the premiere of Eve Beglarian’s “Were You at the Rock,” which added a parade of fluted, flighty, scintillating embellishments to a traditional Irish song. It was sometimes hard to tell whose pipes were doing what, making nothing what it seemed and everything new.”
Royal Festival Hall International Organ Series: Renée Anne Louprette, Andrew Benson-Wilson (9/19/18)
“From the very first few notes, it was clear that Renée Anne Louprette is an outstanding Bach interpreter. Her sense of touch, rhetoric and the way she sensitively articulated the opening flourish and the repeated notes in both Prelude and Fugue showed a real (and sadly rather rare) understanding of Baroque concepts such as the hierarchy of the bar. Her choice of registration was spot-on.”
Renée Anne Louprette at Royal Festival Hall organ, Classical Source (9/19/18)
“Louprette managed them all magisterially, undaunted by the fearsome technical demands of the ‘Toccata’ and coaxing some convincing sounds.”
Editor’s Choice: Une Voix Française, Organists’ Review, September 2018
Demessieux Te Deum; N. Boulanger Improvisation (Trois Pieces); Ibert Fugue (Trois Pieces), Alain Variations sur un theme de Clement Jannequin; Isoir Six Variations sur un Psaume Hugenot; Vierne Piece de Fantaisie, Deuxieme Suite (complete)
“Renee Anne Louprette plays 20th century organ masterworks on the Mander organ in St Ignatius Loyola, New York.
This is a splendid disc. I really enjoyed the programme, the playing and the organ. Ms Louprette has studied in Toulouse, and the French repertoire is clearly very much in her bones. She also had a six-year spell as Assistant Director of Music at St Ignatius Loyola, so knows this 1993 Mander organ intimately. Under her hands the organ makes exactly the right sounds for her programme.
It is good to hear music by Nadia Boulanger – a key figure and teacher in 20th-century France. Jacques Ibert’s output for the organ is slim, but of considerable quality, and his Fugue is a fine piece and is dedicated to Nadia Boulanger. Jehan Alain’s Jannequin Variations are given idiomatic performances, and Jeanne Demessieux’s virtuoso Te Deum launches the CD in arresting style.
I was especially taken by the music of Andre Isoir. Famous for his interpretations of the Classical French repertoire, Cesar Franck and J.S. Bach, this is his one and only composition for his instrument. During the six variations he explores the colours of the organ in imaginative ways, as well as subjecting the psalm tune to a vigorous work-out!
Louis Vierne finished his second book of Fantasy Pieces in 1926 prior to a recital tour of the USA, and each piece is dedicated to an American.
Louprette is equal to all the colouristic and technical demands of this music. The joy for the listener is being able to sit back and hear the music unfold, without giving thought to how it is being achieved.
The recorded sound is terrific, Mander’s magnum opus is in great voice, and all aspects of the playing satisfies thoroughly. Recommended.”
Une Voix Française – A French Voice: 20th-Century Organ Masterworks, MusicWeb International (July 2018)
“This is a great introduction to some lesser-known French organ works. They are splendidly played by the soloist who shows great understanding and empathy with the genre.”
Happy Error: The Week in Classical Music, The New York Times (5/25/18)
“I haven’t encountered much Poulenc in recent years, except for the farcical opera “Les Mamelles de Tiresias,” heard twice: at Tanglewood in 1997 and at the Juilliard School in 2015. I can’t say that I thought a lot about what I was missing, but I was forcibly reminded on Wednesday evening, by Sacred Music in a Sacred Space’s Poulenc program at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, just how delightful his best works are. Renée Anne Louprette played the Organ Concerto beautifully, and K. Scott Warren conducted St. Ignatius choirs in Poulenc’s crowning Gloria, with Wendy Baker as an excellent soprano soloist.”
~JAMES R. OESTREICH
Une voix française, ORGELNIEUWS.NL (April 2018)
“Lovers of French organ music will feel a smile coming to their faces when they see an organ CD entitled ‘Une Voix Française’. However, I can imagine the enthusiasm waning somewhat when they notice that this CD was recorded in the United States or America.
We are very aware that America has a thriving organ culture and had its current President any appreciation the organ as an instrument, he would – not without a little of his usual chauvinism – proclaim ‘We have the biggest instruments in the world!’
Unfortunately, ‘bigger is not always mean ‘better’, And many of these ‘Bakbeest’ (Dutch for a fattened pig) tend to disappoint. In the early days of the CD, I borrowed recordings of such instruments from the Public Library, curious about the batteries of strings, reeds and registers of 32 ft pitch. I was almost invariably disappointed. These giants, frequently with more than a hundred speaking stops, usually lose out to more modest instruments in a more favourable acoustic. Closer to home … how many organists did not lament ‘How would the Van den Heuvel in Katwijk sound in a church with decent acoustics?’
With that in mind, you start to listen this CD played by Renée Louprette with some reservations. Well, any such misgivings go straight out of the window as soon as Jeanne Demessieux’s Te Deum starts emanating from your speakers. Without wishing to denigrate the American organ culture, you might observe the language spoken here is not American, nor even double-Dutch!
To put it simply, there are three factors that bring us to this conclusion: The organ by the British builder Mander proves to be eminently suitable for this repertoire. Secondly, the church has an excellent acoustic. Not for nothing did the New York Times observe, with regard to this particular installation, that one of the most important stops of an organ is acoustic of the room in which it is built. And finally, Ms. Louprette’s playing has a French touch that is indispensable for the performance of this repertoire.
This, together with a fascinating programme of music, makes for a CD that is well worth listening to, to put it mildly!
After the virtuoso Dmessieux Te Deum of, two lesser known works by Nadia Boulanger and Jacques Ibert follow. Neither composers that we normally associate with the organ but having listened to these works one can but wish that they had written more compositions for the King (or as Mendelssohn actually said, Queen) of Instruments.
This is followed Alain’s Variations on theme by Clément Jannequin. Jehan Alain indicated that he wanted this work to be performed as if it were a composition by Couperin. And once again organ-builder Mander shows he is able to build an organ on which also those ‘older sounds’ speak well. Even Ton Koopman found this organ interesting enough to perform on it.
I will never forget a recital by Johan van Dommele in the Eusebius Church in Arnhem in the nineteen-eighties. On the programme were the 6 Variations sur une Psaume Huguenot by André Isoir. A wonderful contemporary work heard far too seldom. In a country such as the Netherlands, one born and bred with Genevan Psalter, the work really should be known better. Although the work is contemporary, the Genevan melody of Psalm 92 is prominent. My thoughts go back to the passage: “…that even created the breath with which he is praised”. I only know the Paris recording by Isoir himself of 1992 (Erato). But here, this music comes into its own in New York, possibly even better…
Finally, we come to the Vierne. His six Pièces de Fantaisie (2nd Suite) are all beautifully played, one by one! Renée Anne Louprette must be counted among the greatest performers of our time and you can enjoy this breath-taking instrument, even if you associate ‘Claire de lune’ with strings and flutes from the Cavaillé-Coll workshop.
The recording is excellent. Despite the lack of photographs, the booklet contains the information that is of interest; even the materials used in the construction of the organ are listed. How very British!
The White House Incumbent could revel in having such greats – artist and instrument – in his home country!”
Exquisite Antonacci: The Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments on YouTube, The New York Times (2/23/18)
“A big week for organ music in New York began even before Trinity Wall Street’s Organ Inauguration Festival celebrating the new St. Paul’s instrument, which began on Monday. On Sunday, the excellent Renée Anne Louprette performed a recital on the superb Mander pipe organ in the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on the Upper East Side, celebrating the 25th anniversary of its installation. She concluded an eclectic program with Maurice Duruflé’s Opus 5 Suite and its blockbuster Toccata. One virtuosic run follows another, perhaps best typified by finger-busting scurryings gathering speed along a single keyboard, soon countered by deft clambering on the pedals. Then it’s on to any number of other stunts.”
~JAMES R. OESTREICH
A Dynamic, Riveting Performance by One of the World’s Great Organists, New York Music Daily (2/18/18)
“She opened the concert with a confident, ultimately triumphant build through the long upward trajectories of two Bach organ pieces from the Klavierubung. The effect was heroism but not pageantry…Louprette’s steadiness and sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic dynamic shifts carried a theme and variations from French composer Nicholas de Grigny’s abbreviated but pioneering Livre d’Orgue. She took that energy to the rafters throughout Ad Wammes’ colorful Myto, from playful motorik rhythms, to what could have been the robust title theme from an action movie – Snowboarding the Matterhorn, maybe? – to sudden blasts of angst.”
BACH: ‘THE GREAT EIGHTEEN CHORALES,’ by James M. Reed, The Diapason, June 2017
Renée Anne Louprette, organist (Acis Productions)
“Louprette’s performances here are excellent – technically assured, highly articulate, and musical, demonstrating much of the instrument’s tonal palette and a great sensitivity to the chosen music…It is quite easy to see from this disc why she is regarded as one of New York City’s most compelling performers.”
Bach: The Great Eighteen Chorales, by Paul de Louit, Diapason (#640, November 2015)
“…Renée Anne Louprette… témoigne déjà de deux grandes qualités: l’impeccable stabilité du tactus, quels que soient le tempo et l’ornementation; et un sens bluffant de la sonorité. Voici un Metzler de 1974 transfiguré, aussi beau qu’un bel instrument ancien; l’inventivité et le goût de l’interprète, en font ressortir tous les timbres par des solos et des ensembles toujours différents, sans nuire jamais à l’équilibre ni à la lisibilité. Même les chorals les plus délicats à registrer (Nun komm “a due bassi”) trouvent une solution inattendu et séduisante. Lorsque, par surcroît, les voix parviennent à chanter avec naturel, comme dans le deuxième Allein Gott, on a la certitude d’un talent prometteur, et à suivre.”
Classical Critics Pick the Top Music Recordings of 2014, The New York Times (12/18/14)
BACH: ‘THE GREAT 18 CHORALES’
Renée Anne Louprette, organist (Acis Productions, two CDs)
“This towering late collection of chorale preludes is not entry-level Bach, least of all for those unfamiliar with the chorale tunes themselves. But the music rewards deep immersion, and the performances by Renée Anne Louprette, one of New York’s finest organists, invite it.”
~JAMES R. OESTREICH
CD Review – J.S. Bach: The Great Eighteen Chorales
Renée Anne Louprette, Metzler organ, Trinity College, Cambridge
Tuvan Throat Singers, Together in Spirit With Arvo Pärt: ‘Collected Stories’ Series Continues at Zankel Hall
by James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, April 25, 2014
“…Julian Wachner conducted members of his Choir of Trinity Wall Street and a handful of fine instrumentalists, including the wonderful organist Renée Anne Louprette.”
Keeping Up the Spirit of Bach and Carrying On
by James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, October 7, 2012
“…A great revelation of Bach at One, whose concerts begin with an organ prelude (usually played by Renée Anne Louprette, Trinity’s splendid organist), has been the beauty of that instrument, which is still being cleaned of grit left by the attacks 11 years ago.”
Passions Alight in Sacred Season: Bach Passions in Performance for Holy Week
by James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, April 4, 2012
“…a magnificent performance of Bach’s “St. Anne” Prelude and Fugue (BWV 552) by the Trinity organist, Renée Anne Louprette, on the chapel’s wonderful Schlicker organ.”
Renée Anne Louprette (organ), Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, July 28, 2009
St Michael’s, Dún Laoghaire
Buxtehude – Praeludium in D minor BuxWV140. Böhm – Vater unser im Himmelreich. Capriccio in D. Frescobaldi – Recercar Cromatico post il Credo. Ligeti – Ricercare. Bach – Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543. Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebot BWV678. Mendelssohn – Sonata in B flat Op 65 No 4.
“Renée Anne Louprette, associate director of music at the Church of St Ignatius Loyola in New York, made her début in the organ series at St Michael’s, Dún Laoghaire on Sunday.
She presented herself as a communicative player with no shortage of imaginative ideas, with fingers fully capable of backing them up, and with feet which are not just nimble on the pedals, but every bit as expressively articulate as her fingers. The feet first dazzled at the end of a thrusty performance of Buxtehude’s Praeludium in D minor, BuxWV140. She followed this with a contrasted pair of works by Georg Böhm (1661-1733), and then a pairing that crossed the centuries.
The Recercar Cromatico post il Credo from Girolamo Frescobaldi’s Fiori Musicali of 1635 and the 30-year-old György Ligeti’s homage to Frescobaldi, his Ricercare of 1953, are united by their extreme chromaticism and also their fondness for spiralling shapes, which clash in ways that Louprette captured with a sense of energised relish.
Her coupling of two works by Bach offered the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV543, in a performance of impressive sportiness, and the chorale prelude Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebot in a reading of stately calmness that communicated a sense of unutterable richness in the complexity of its counterpoint.
For all its bustle and brio, the fourth of Mendelssohn’s six organ sonatas came as something of an anti-climax after the Bach. On the evidence of this performance, mid 19th-century sweetness would not seem to be as close to Louprette’s heart as the earlier and later music of this impressive recital.”
Sacred Music in a Sacred Space Begins at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Steve Smith, The New York Times, October 9, 2009
Organ Recitals as Worthy as Concerts, Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, February 12, 2009
3 Soloists Give Voice to a Mighty Instrument, Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, July 4, 2007
The London Organ Day 1998, The Incorporated Association of Organists, IAO News, August 1998
Newly Repaired Hall Reverberates to Fine Piano, Albany Times Union, October 13, 1993
Concert de orgă și saxofon la Biserica Evanghelică-Lutherană Pietati, cu invitat din SUA, ClujulCultural.RO, 12/9/22
Orgel spielen ist faszinierend, Hermannstädter Zeitung, 10/27/22
Women in Improvisation, The American Organist, February 2021
Notre-Dame Musicians Rejoice That Cathedral’s Organ Was Spared, The New York Times, 4/24/19
In Conversation: Renée Anne Louprette, Rehearsal Magazine
Striking Notes Timely and Timeless – RENÉE ANNE LOUPRETTE
“This excellent organist, who like Kent Tritle left her position at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and is now at Trinity Wall Street, inaugurates another new feature in Trinity’s suddenly resurgent music program: Pipes at One, a series of 40-minute midday organ recitals (by her and others) on the beautifully restored Schlicker organ at St. Paul’s Chapel. No repertory has been announced yet; trust Ms. Louprette to make it worth your while.”
by James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, 9/6/12
A Celebration of Bach, as a Counterpoise to Painful Memories” by James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, 9/11/11
(article on Trinity Church’s weeklong series of concerts and observances of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, Remember to Love)
In Washington for convention, organists pull out all the stops, Washington Post, July 8, 2010
Interpreting Bach, The Organ, February-April 2002