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Virtuose Orgel

Wolfram Gehring

Classical - Released August 20, 2021 | haenssler CLASSIC

Wolfram Gehring, known among other things for having inaugurated Allen organs in many churches all over Germany, has been somewhat forgotten. Although he had been off the radar for several years, the Cologne-based organist nevertheless distinguished himself as an excellent ambassador of the modern organ - his 1973 recording of Marcel Dupré's Chemin de la Croix has left a lasting impression. The reissue, almost forty years on, of "Virtuoso Orgel" is an opportunity to savour this musical madeleine, a pleasant if sadly rather small musical morsel.This old LP, published on the Laudate label and reproduced here in its entirety, was cut down to include only Charles-Marie Widor's Symphony for Organ No. 5 and the last movement, Final-Allegro, of Louis Vierne's Symphony No. 1 in D minor. It has a slight air of déjà vu about it: in the years since its initial release, these two pieces have become real hits. This is an able recording, made using the instrument in the St. Lucia Kirche in Stolberg. Wolfram Gehring will appeal to music lovers who cherish clarity in recordings, although this record lacks the lush panache and airy phrasing of the works of Daniel Chorzempa (Philips). This is a clean, masterful, virtuoso performance, and Gehring demonstrates the range and variety of his instrument. © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz
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Duruflé: Complete Organ Works

Thomas Trotter

Classical - Released June 11, 2021 | Kings College Cambridge

Hi-Res Booklet
Not yet familiar with Maurice Duruflé's organ music? Listen to the Prélude sur l'Introït de l'Épiphanie, Op. 13 from 1961: in two minutes, the composer gives a full summary of his work. An almost circular melody, wide and generous, unfolds through magical and autumnal registrations. Where are we? This music feels like it is coming at us from out of history. A crumhorn reworking of Couperin? A very chromatic improvisation by Johann Sebastian Bach? No, it is Maurice Duruflé, who blends the melismas and breaths of Gregorian chant into the modern harmony of a Ravel. And this synthesis of genius, which would also produce the Mass cum jubilo Op. 11 (1966), gives this music its timeless charm. The fact that this music is so brief, like the composer's body of work, from which many sketches and completed compositions have been excised, adds to the intensity of the moment. A man of the church and of the Christian tradition, Maurice Duruflé was fiercely demanding of himself, as was Paul Dukas, who taught him composition several decades earlier. Duruflé's work consists of only fourteen pieces, none of which are particularly long!Duruflé's colouristic sense shines through everywhere, and the astonishing Prélude to the wonderful Suite Op. 5 remains one of the most significant examples of this tendency. The terrifying, horror-film opening gradually turns into a psalmodic thriller, ending in a meditation on earthly life as seen from heaven. In a relatively moderate tempo, Thomas Trotter displays a breathtaking feel for gradation in this passage, surely one of the most intense moments in Maurice Duruflé's back catalogue.Throughout this album, Thomas Trotter - an English organist born in 1957, whose imposing Decca discography deserves re-evaluation - displays treasures of musicality and above all of sensitivity. Although his organs do not show off such marvellous timbres as those of the instruments in the Abbey of Saint-Ouen (Rouen) or Saint-Etienne du Mont (Paris), Trotter is truly prodigious, on the one hand in how he works on structure, and on the other hand, and especially, in his sense of narration and breathing, which is so typical of Duruflé. This work is quite simply poignant. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Bach : Trios pour clavier et violon

Freddy Eichelberger

Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | L'Encelade

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) composed the six sonatas for keyboard and violin while he was in the service of Prince Leopold of Koethen (1717-1723), a period during which he focussed on composing secular instrumental music. These works were not written as sonatas for a melodic instrument and a basso continuo part performed on the keyboard, as was usually the case at that time - on the contrary, Bach composed these six sonatas as works for three voices, so they are true trio sonatas. One voice is allocated to the violin and two to the two hands on the keyboard, thus giving greater contrapuntal depth to the way that they are composed. This fresh take on these sonatas for keyboard and violin comes with an invitation to embark upon an organ-driven journey. The six sonatas have been broken down into three duos, each of which has been recorded using a different organ and violin combination, whilst at the same time remaining stylistically consistent with the types of instrument with which was Bach was familiar and which he himself played. The three organs are all in the East German style and the violin-makers who inspired the instruments used for the recordings were contemporaries of Bach. The programme also offers a seventh sonata for keyboard and violin (BWV 1028) which is far better known in its version for the viola de gamba. It also includes two less well-known violin and basso continuo sonatas by Bach, inspired by the Italian style, which allows the listener to get a better grasp of the difference between the two compositional models. Freddy Eichelberger has also chosen to introduce the works for keyboard and violin with solo organ pieces which act rather like preludes, thus highlighting the sonority of each of the instruments. In this boxset, which celebrates a thirty-year musical bond between Odile Edouard and Freddy Eichelberger, it is used a different organ and violin pairing, so three sites were selected, mainly because they had the right kinds of organ for the project and were easily accessible. These were the church of Saint-Louis de Saint Étienne (Haute-Loire), the Temple de Boudry (Switzerland) and the Temple du Foyer de l’Âme (Paris). © L'Encelade
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Schumann : Complete Works for pedal piano or organ

Daniel Beckmann

Classical - Released April 2, 2020 | Aeolus

Hi-Res Booklet
BONUS VIDEOAeolus' first collaboration with the cathedral organist Daniel Beckmann from Mainz leads us to a Bernhard Dreymann organ, which has just been restored to its former glory, located in the St. Ignazkirche in Mainz. The instrument, built in 1837 at the beginning of the Romantic period, was praised by Christian Heinrich Rinck as exemplary for the then modern organ building and fits exactly into the time when Robert Schumann wrote his works for pedal piano or organ. At the time when Robert Schumann was composing his studies and fugues for pedal piano in Dresden in 1845, the organbuilding was in shadow in most European countries. Clara wrote in her diary about the purchase of a pedal board for the Schumanns: "On April 24th [...] we received a pedal board under our piano [...]. Robert found greater interest in the instrument and composed some sketches and studies for the pedal piano, which will certainly be very well received as something new." In one of the earliest reviews of the B-A-C-H fugues, Magdeburg cathedral organist August Gottfried Ritter wrote: "Those familiar with Robert Schumann will not be surprised by such a change. Such a profound and sensitive composer, so thoroughly hostile to all effects daubed on the outside, must be attracted to the instrument so closely related to his inner being, finding in it the most appropriate expression of his thoughts". As he wrote in a letter, Schumann was convinced that the fugues were "a task of which I believe they will perhaps outlive my other ones the longest".Due to its abundant foundation stops and the resulting diverse possibilities of dynamic gradations, the Dreymann organ is almost predestined for a recording of these three cycles. (Aeolus)
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Nicolas de Grigny, Nicolas Lebègue: Écrire le temps

Nicolas Bucher

Classical - Released March 20, 2020 | HORTUS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Saint-Saëns:Symphony No.3 Poulenc:Organ Concerto-Live

Iveta Apkalna

Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
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French Virtuoso Organ Music

Gillian Weir

Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Decca

A first CD release for a thrilling recital of dazzling toccatas and fantasias from the French organ tradition by one of the world’s most celebrated musicians.Installed in 1972 and built by the Austrian firm of Hradetzky, the four-manual organ at the Royal Northern College of Music was just four years old when Gillian Weir recorded this album. She draws from it a robust, vibrant sound and a dazzling array of French-accented colours in a showpiece recital which shows off both organ and organist to best advantage. As she relates in a newly written booklet note for this release, Gillian Weir played many recitals on the Hradetzky organ. She found its fresh, exciting sounds and array of pungent reed stops ideal for this repertoire. The album opens and closes with spectacular pieces by Marcel Dupré, the epitome of the French organist-composer tradition. The prodigious polymath Saint-Saëns had himself been acclaimed by Liszt as the greatest organist in the world, and he composed the carefree Fantaisie in his early twenties to display his own gifts at the console. Vierne succeded Widor as titular organist at Notre Dame, and his own Pièces de fantaisie are steeped in the cathedral’s acoustic and the possibilities of the instrument designed by the king of French organ builders, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Among them, Naïades is his most loved piece, a perpetuum mobile of rippling scales summoning up a vision of laughing water nymphs diving through the water. Perhaps the most demanding piece in Gillian Weir’s recital draws from the Vierne tradition via Olivier Messiaen, in L’ange à la trompette by Messiaen’s pupil Jacques Charpentier. Her performance of its exuberant, culminating toccata elicited particularly glowing critical praise when the album was released, for her absolute rhythmic security and assured mastery of both music and instrument. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Widor : The Complete Organ Works

Joseph Nolan

Classical - Released August 9, 2019 | Signum Records

Booklet
British organist Joseph Nolan has created a very fine complete recording of Widor's works for organ on three French organs, all built by Cavaillé-Coll and each as sumptuous as the others: they are the organ of La Madeleine in Paris, mainly used for the symphonies; the organ of Saint-Sernin in Toulouse and the organ of Saint-François de Sales in Lyon for the other works. Widor's works don't finish with the exciting toccata of the Fifth Symphony, although this piece – a stunning homage to French romanticism, in the spirit of Johann Sebastian Bach – is durably marked by its luminous tone. Contrary to the style of the likes of Daniel Chorzempa, a spirited and above all colourist performer (Philips), Joseh Nolan adopts measured and tranquil tempos, overexposing the architectural side of the works of this romantic French composer, who was born in 1844 – the same year as Rimsky-Korsakov – and died in 1937, the same year as Ravel, Pierné and Roussel.The heart of Widor's organ works is surely to be found in his ten symphonies, composed between 1872 and 1900. They form a thrilling bridge between Mendelssohn and Messiaen, between the Empire and the Third Republic. Widor was intensely close to the organ: having grown up the son of an organ maker, he soon showed his affinity for the instrument. All of Widor's writing shows a musician with a real head for Dionysian virtuosity: a mindset that can't leave anyone indifferent. This re-release brings together into one box set volumes which have appeared separately over the years, and Signum Classics – for whom Joseph Nolan is one of the most important artists – allow the listener to dive again into a world of music that is too-often neglected outside of organ concerts. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Bach : Organ Works, Vol. 3

Masaaki Suzuki

Classical - Released August 2, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
As his long-term project of recording Johann Sebastian Bach's complete sacred cantatas with the Bach Collegium Japan drew to a close, conductor Masaaki Suzuki returned to his first career as an organist, launching a series of Bach's organ music on BIS with the first volume in 2015 and a second in 2017. This 2019 installment features performances on the 1714 organ in Freiberg Cathedral by Gottfried Silbermann, an instrument from Bach's time constructed by one of his associates. Silbermann was noted for his early fortepianos, prompting Bach's pun that they had a "silvery tone." The same might be said for the bright registration of this organ, which is most noticeable in such brilliant works as the Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 531 and the Toccata in C major, BWV 566, though darker stops are used in the somber Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537 and the monumental Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582. Underlying the program is a focus on the pitch C, which helps to unify the contrasting major and minor modes through the parallel tonality. Yet even in the chorale preludes, which are centered in G major or E minor, there is a quiet, reflective mood that is enhanced by Suzuki's choices of appropriate tone colors to suit their devotional character. This BIS multichannel recording captures the organ with a wide audio range and clear details at all volumes, so this hybrid SACD is well-balanced for home listening. © TiVo
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Michel Boédec : #1653

Michel Boédec

Classical - Released July 24, 2019 | Lanvellec Editions

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Bonelli : Complete Keyboard Music

Federico del Sordo

Classical - Released June 28, 2019 | Brilliant Classics

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Rădulescu : Works for Organ & for Cello

Christoph Maria Moosmann

Classical - Released May 3, 2019 | Mode Records

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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J.S. Bach : The Complete Works For Keyboard, Vol. 2 / Part 1 - Towards the North (Vers le Nord)

Benjamin Alard

Classical - Released April 12, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Bach to the future

Olivier Latry

Classical - Released March 22, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Bach to the Future gained considerable publicity from being the last recording made on the 1868 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Notre-Dame cathedral before the devastating fire of 2019. It might just as well, however, have become renowned if there had been no fire: it is one of the most exciting organ releases of recent years. Organist Olivier Latry became titulaire des grands orgues at Notre-Dame in 1985, when he was just 23, but he has lost none of his youthful brashness, indicated perhaps by the album's punning title. Latry explains his ideas in an interesting an readable accompanying note. More than in any other genre of classical music, a performance of an organ work is an interpretation by the player, who shapes its basic textures. Latry takes this idea and develops it, using stops that did not exist in Bach's time. Furthermore, he has familiarized himself with arrangements of Bach's organ works made for other media, including Leopold Stokowski's crowd-pleasing orchestral version of the Toccata and fugue in D minor, BWV 565, and Liszt's version of the Fantasy and Fugue, BWV 542 (presented here as two separate tracks, for Latry is unconvinced that they were meant as a unit). Latry incorporates sonorities of these into his organ performances; sample the blazing Toccata and fugue, a real thrill that, like everything else on the album, is recorded to the hilt. The result is an organ album of almost unprecedented textural breadth and brilliance. Latry has other unusual ideas, such as the organ performance of the six-part ricercar from the Musical Offering, BWV 1079, at the beginning, plunging the listener into a murky world of complexity, and the narrative treatment of the Passacaglia and fugue in C minor, BWV 582. Yet more is there for the listener to discover, all of it part of the story of the great Notre-Dame organ that will, thankfully, be ongoing. © TiVo
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Widor : Organ Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 8-10

Christian Schmitt

Classical - Released March 15, 2019 | CPO

Booklet
“An organ for Michelangelo” allegedly exclaimed Charles-Marie Widor upon seeing for the first time the Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, completed in 1890 and which has remained in pristine condition to this day. The famous organ builder had in fact integrated in his piece older elements from a Crespin Carlier organ from 1630, thus creating an instrument with wide-ranging sounds, from baroque to late romanticism. And Widor’s Organ Symphony No.9, Op. 70 “Gothique” is dedicated to this very organ! Here, this monumental work is played on the masterpiece that inspired it, a touching return to the original sound sources. In addition to the Ninth, this collection also features the Fifth and its final Toccata which is without a doubt the most famous moment in all of Widor’s work, as well as the Sixth, also made up of five movements, both characterised by their symphonic radiance. The Eighth, the Ninth and the Tenth end Widor’s cycle of ten symphonies for organ, which he wrote between 1887 and 1900 before turning his attention to other musical genres. All the while, he pursued his immense career as an international soloist until the end of his long life, as well as his vocation as a teacher, counting among his students the likes of Louis Vierne, Albert Schweitzer, Charles Tournemire and Marcel Dupré, and as a composition professor for Arthur Honegger, Edgar Varèse and Darius Milhaud. His style bears the clear influence of César Franck, whom he succeeded at the Conservatoire de Paris, and to a lesser extent of Saint-Saëns, for whom he worked as an assistant during his studies. The Cavaillé-Coll in Rouen is truly one of the most extraordinary instruments of its time; and Widor’s music is perfectly tailored for its thousand facets. © SM/Qobuz
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Bach : Concertos for Organ and Strings

Les Muffatti

Classical - Released February 22, 2019 | Ramée

Hi-Res Booklet
Although we know of at least five concertos J.S. Bach wrote for solo organ we have no surviving Bach organ concertos with orchestral accompaniment. Contrast this with the 200+ cantatas: of these, 18 feature organ obbligato, which Bach uses as a solo instrument in arias, choral sections and sinfonias. The most obviously conspicuous date to 1726. In May to November of that year, Bach composed six cantatas which assign a prominent solo role to the organ. Most of these are reworkings of movements of lost violin and oboe concertos written in Bach’s time at Weimar and Köthen. Why Bach wrote such a number of obbligato organ cantatas in such a short period remains unknown. One possible explanation may lie in Dresden, where Bach had given a concert on the new Silbermann organ in the Sophienkirche in 1725. Some scholars think that, in addition to other organ works, he also performed organ concertos, or at least a few earlier versions of the sinfonias, with obbligato organ and strings in order to show off the organ. From the cantatas mentioned above, along with the related violin and harpsichord concertos, it is perfectly possible to reconstruct a number of three-movement organ concertos of this type. By using this method, we hope to bring some of the music which Bach may have performed in Dresden in 1725 back to life. © Ramée/Outhere

Soleils couchants (Debussy, Fauré, Boulanger, Franck, Liszt, Paladilhe, Reger, Wolf)

Adrien La Marca

Classical - Released February 22, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Titelouze : Les Messes retrouvées

Les Meslanges

Classical - Released January 25, 2019 | Paraty

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Pachelbel : Complete Keyboard Music, Vol. 3

Simone Stella

Classical - Released December 28, 2018 | Brilliant Classics

Booklet
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Cabezón : Tientos, diferencias y glosadas

Léon Berben

Classical - Released December 7, 2018 | Aeolus

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason