Arrangements of Marcel Dupré’s (1886-1971) popular Cortège et Litanie are numerous and have served remarkably 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, and eventually arranged by the composer for organ and orchestra. Cortège consists simply of an opening chorale. Litanie follows with a chanting, repetitive pattern that as a whole makes for a catchy melody. After many repetitions of this melody with some development, both the chorale and chant are played simultaneously as if leitmotivs in a Wagnerian denouement.
— Gregg Wager is a composer and critic. He is author of Symbolism as a Compositional Method in the Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen and High and Low Culture Since 1975. He has a PhD in musicology from the Free University Berlin and a JD from McGeorge School of Law.