Clément Loret (1833-1909) descended from a family that had already for two centuries on end produced organ builders and organists. He received his first music lessons from his father Joseph-Jean, and already as a seven-year-old he played small pieces during Mass, while one year later he was able to take on an entire Mass. In 1846 his father was appointed as organist in Mons, so Clément continued his studies with Jules Denefve, director of the local conservatory. In 1851 he was admitted at the Brussels Conservatory, where he obtained a first prize diploma for organ in 1854. He became organist of the Panthéon, the parish church of Suresnes (near Paris) and Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. In 1857 he was engaged as organ teacher at the ‘École de Musique religieuse’ of Niedermeyer. In this capacity he played an important part in the development of the French organ school, counting among his pupils Gabriël Fauré, Léon Boëllmann and Eugène Gigout. That same year at the suggestion of Niedermeyer he became organist of Saint-Louis d’Antin, a position he held at least until 1880. He composed many organ works, as well as works for the harmonium and piano music, songs and liturgical works, the majority published on his own account. The final piece of his composer's career is formed by Les Fêtes religieuses for organ, a collection of pieces ready for use at the major liturgical celebrations of the year.
This piece is of the heroic, Grand chœur nature. It's almost what I'd call "Anglican" in style! There is no "theme" given, but I can't help but feel that the chordal sections (theme) played on the Positif, are an harmonized plainsong Alleluia. The work is dedicated "A son collègue J. Brosset".
Once again, I hope that the comparitive recordings will be enjoyable. This one, on the larger organ, is a little "freer" and with a "bigger" style... :-)