Instruments: New Voice for Chartres

After puffing up 88 spiraling stone steps, Marcel Dupré, the greatest organist in France, sat down at the 500-year-old organ, a magnificent work of art whose 2,270 fluted pipes pyramid majestically into the vaulted heights of Chartres Cathedral. It was to be his first recital in that majestic shrine, an hour to remember. But as Dupré launched into Bach's Toccata and Fugue in G Minor, the organ balked and choked off a high note. The organist winced, but forged on, muttering "lamentable, lamentable."

That was in 1952, and the citizens of Chartres have not forgotten the incident, for Dupré has never...

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