Search - Alexandre Guilmant, Louis Vierne, Marc-Antoine Charpentier :: French Organ Music

French Organ Music
Alexandre Guilmant, Louis Vierne, Marc-Antoine Charpentier
French Organ Music
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1


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Avid Reader | Franklin, Tn | 02/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This album evokes the France of the 19th century with her muscular Catholicism, international reputation (despite a drubbing by the Germans in 1870) and air of cultural superiority. Today that Catholicism, indeed, Christianty itself is rapidly disappearing and few take France seriously on the international stage but one can relish in the glorious past. The organists of this time formed a school - ultra-Romantic, original, technically unsurpassed - all made possible by the incredible Cavaillé-Coll organs that literally turned the organ world upside down. For the first time - despite Rheinberger's and Reger's attempts - a true "symphonic" sound was possible for the instrument.

Most all of these are familiar works adn that is a source for a complaint. Why oh why do we ALWAYS get the Vierne First and the Widor Fifth?? Sometimes, the "powers that be" get daring and insert parts of Widor's Fourth or Sixth. Just thinking of the final movement of the Fourth (Vierne) with its almost unearthly "rapture" (as a reviewer so aptly put it) or the Toccato of the Widor seventh makes one wish for a broadening of the offerings to the general public.

The performance was good, semi-inspired, the sound adequate. I hate to leave on a down note for afterall, this was a good CD, but when you have "ultimates" out there with which to compare....
For example, the Suite Gothique lacked the fire that is found in other recordings and even the Guilmant seemed more forced than inspired."