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Encores à la française
Louis Couperin, Marcel Dupre, Eugene Gigout
Encores Ó la franšaise
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


     

CD Details

 

CD Reviews

Great performance, great instrument, great music!
05/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Albert Schweitzer, writing in 1906, describes the French organ-playing tradition thus: The modern French school is the result of this perfected organ construction....The French organist seeks a quiet plasticity that brings the tone pattern to the listener in all its greatness. It seems to me that the French organist even sits more quietly at his console. With all of them one finds an absolute precision in pressing and releasing the keys, which results in blending and clear,natural phrasing. "Organ playing," Widor once said to me on the organ bench at Notre Dame as the rays of the setting sun streamed through the dusk of the nave in transfigured peace,"is the manifestation of a will filled with a vision of eternity. All organ instruction, both technical and artistic, has as its aim only to educate a man to the pure manifestation of the higher will. This will, expressed by the organist in the objectivity of this instrument, should overwhelm the hearer, so that even the thoughtless hearer cannot escape from it, but even after the second measure grasps and comprehends it whether he will or not..." Michael Murray follows the French organ school teaching to a "T" at the great Aeolian-Skinner organ at Boston's Symphony Hall. The first nine selections were recorded there. The last selection, Poulenc's Concerto for Organ,Strings and Timpani was recorded at the Cathedral of Saint Philip in Atlanta and uses sound itself as an expressive device, offering abundant contrasts, particularly of tone color, as the solo instrument's palette of diapasons, flutes,strings and reeds intermix with each other and with the timbres of the orchestra."
Wonderful Poulenc, good solo works
03/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This CD has actually become one of my favorites. In fact, I often bring this out when demonstrating my stereo to guests.The solo works on the Boston Symphony Hall organ are cleanly played and effectively show the colors of this instrument while also taking advantage of the room's amazing acoustic. Mr. Murray's playing is accurate with much attention to phrasing, however, I personally could stand for more rhythmic flexibility. At times, it seems that he's playing along with a metronome. Still, the first 9 selections give a good sampling of this historic Aeolian-Skinner organ.However, it is the Poulenc Concerto for Organ and Strings which makes this recording invaluable. Recorded on another large Aeolian-Skinner organ at St. Phillip's in Atlanta, this track features a near-perfect balance between the strings and timpani of the Atlanta Philharmonic, under the direction of Robert Shaw, and the large organ.The sound-stage in this particular recording is immense and those of you who have invested in high-end audio will be richly repaid when listening to this particular piece at home. The organ has tremendous clarity and dynamic range, the strings are so well-captured that you would swear the players are right in the room with and the timpani strikes have perfect percussiveness, and balance.In this particular piece, Mr. Murray's playing is anything but metronomic. In fact, he seems to hook into the wonderful lyric qualities of the string parts and presents a very flexible, musical and insightful performance. To me, this is one of the great pieces for organ and strings and he pulls off the challenging organ part with confidence and style.For those of you who like Poulenc and are looking for a beautiful performance which is well recorded, you can't do much better."
Awesome CD
J. Saavedra | SoCal | 03/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"From an audio geek's point of view, this CD may contain the deepest bass my system can reproduce. This CD contains Francis Poulenc's Organ Concerto in G minor for Organ Strings and Timpani, which is an absolute monster in terms of infrasonics.

Of course there is the loud, sustained 20 hz note at the end of track 10 (22 minutes, 57 seconds into the track) that Sensible Sound mentions in its review of the Paradigm Studio 100. But there are also 16 hz notes sprinkled throughout the track, to varying loudness, most notable is 18 minutes into the track. My servo sub in one system could not reproduce the 16 hz without assistance from a Velodyne SMS-1 eq'd flat to 15 hz.

But wait, there's more! There is one particular passage 3 minutes into the track that could be barely registered at moderate volumes. This particular note sounds deeper than 16 hz. I don't know its exact note, but it's quite stupendous to feel the house shake on this passage. I don't think it's 8 hz. Who knows, except Aeolian-Skinner, or perhaps Telarc. With the sub SMS eq'd and played at loud volumes, yes it's good to go.

By the way, the rest of the CD is pretty good too, from a musical and audio standpoint.

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