Born into a wealthy musical family, Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) was a child prodigy. His father Aimable Albert Dupré was a respected organist and a friend of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who built an organ in the family house when Marcel was 10 years old.
After lessons with Alexandre Guilmant, he entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1904 where ehe studied with both Louis Vierne (organ), and Charles-Marie Widor (fugue and composition). Later, he was appointed professor of organ performance and improvisation at the Paris Conservatoire, a position he held until 1954.
Dupré became famous for performing more than 2,000 organ recitals throughout Europe, Australia, Canada and especially the United States, sparked by a transcontinental tour sponsored by the John Wanamaker Department Store
Succeeding Widor in 1934 as titular organist at St. Sulpice in Paris, Dupré retained this position until his death in 1971 at age 85.
Arrangements of Marcel Dupré’s popular "Cortège et Litanie" are numerous and have served very different purposes. First published as Op. 19, No. 2 (one of a set of four piano pieces), it was used as incidental music for a play in 1922, reset as an organ solo and, as you find here, arranged by the composer for organ and orchestra.