Franz Liszt: Ad nos, ad salutarem undam

(Arranger: Marcel Dupré)

  • for organ and orchestra
  • 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, str
  • Duration: 30’
  • Soloists:
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd flute
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    bass clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    3rd trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Franz Liszt
  • Arranger: Marcel Dupré
  • Editor: Martin Haselböck

Work introduction

Franz Liszt was commissioned to compose a fantasia on the motif B-A-C-H (= B-flat, A, C, B-natural) for the dedication of the new organ in Merseburg Cathedral. However, he was unable to finish it in time; he replaced it with his Fantasia and Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam (from Meyerbeer’s opera Le Prophète) on the programme.

This “Prophet Fugue,” as Liszt called it, is one of the most impressive works of secular character in the entire organ literature. Marcel Dupré, one of the 20th century’s greatest organists, arranged it for organ and orchestra, but there was only one documented performance of his version; he played it on a concert tour of the U.S.A., after which it disappeared.

The piece remained in obscurity until organists Olivier Latry and Denny Wilke discovered the performance material in the basement of Villa Meudon in Paris, where Dupré had lived.

This version of the “Prophet Fugue” for organ and orchestra was played for the first time in Europe on 23 September 2007 in Merseburg, the same venue where the solo work was first given in 1855; the performers were Olivier Latry and the Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, Michael Schönheit conducting.

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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