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Louis Vierne - 24 Pieces de Fantaisie (1999)

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Louis Vierne - 24 Pieces de Fantaisie (1999)

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CD 1
Pièces de fantaisie, for organ, Suite 1, Op. 51 (1926)
1. Prélude
2. Andantino
3. Caprice
4. Intermezzo
5. Requiem aeternam
6. Marche nuptiale

Pièces de fantaisie, for organ, Suite 3, Op. 54 (1927)
7. Dédicace
8. Impromptu
9. Étoile Du Soir
10. Fantômes
11. Sur le Rhin
12. Carillon de Westminster

CD 2
Pièces de fantaisie, for organ, Suite 2, Op. 53 (1926)
1. Lamento
2. Sicilienne
3. Hymne au soleil
4. Feux follets
5. Clair de lune
6. Toccata

Pièces de fantaisie, for organ, Suite 4, Op. 55 (1927)
7. Aubade
8. Résignation
9. Cathédrales
10. Naïades
11. Gargouilles et Chimères
12. Les cloches de Hinckey

Ben van Oosten - organ


This very well-filled two-CD set (seventy and eighty minutes long, respectively) presents an exceptional performance of one of the major sets of organ music of the twentieth century.

Ben van Osten, the organist, is one of Holland's leading players and scholars of the "king of instruments," and is a particular specialist in the French Romantic organ school. He is the author of a major biography of Charles-Marie Widor (Vierne's teacher and mentor), and has recorded the complete organ music of Widor, Guilmant's complete organ sonatas, and the six organ symphonies of Vierne.

He is matched with one of the world's most famous instruments, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's last creation, the 1888-1890 organ of the Church of St.-Ouen in Rouen, France, a thirteenth- to fifteenth-century abbey church. Widor, who inaugurated it, proclaimed the instrument a "Michelangelo organ."

The recording, produced and engineered in 1998 by Reimund Grimm, nicely balances the direct sound of the organ and the ambience of the church. Grimm seems to realize well that it is not improper for the reverberation of the great church to build, as the organ increases in power and speed, even to the point of threatening to blur the direct sound. He achieves this effect, as well as great tonal and dynamic range, without overwhelming the passage-work.

The performances are authoritative and understanding. There is a vast amount of contrast in this set of twenty-four works spread over four six-movement suites. van Osten tips the performances toward making each suite an individual, overall composition, which is the way this set should be listened to. The notes, which are by van Osten, run to seventeen pages, include much valuable biographical and musical detail, and are a model of work of this sort. Highly recommended. ---Joseph Stevenson, AllMusic Review

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Last Updated (Monday, 01 July 2019 14:32)


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