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The Organ In Lorraine / Petry, Bucher, Chapuis, Ménissier

Jean Bizot; Anne Catherine Bucher; Michel Chapuis;
Release Date: 10/01/1999 
Label:  K 617   Catalog #: 617055   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Pierre CamoninSamuel ScheidtNicolas-Antoine LebègueJohann Kaspar Kerll,   ... 
Performer:  Anne-Catherine BucherPierre CamoninMichel Chapuis
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Organ demonstrations like this comprise an uncommon category of recording. Would one find a compendium of the great pianos of Cleveland? Of the regional orchestras of Arizona? The opera companies of Alaska? Such orgelreisen as these make sense because the organ has some unique attributes about it. It is an ancient instrument. Indeed the little Renaissance organ of Metz Cathedral heard at the opening of this collection rates as one of the two or three oldest organs in the world. Such a long history (about six centuries) also insures that few instruments bear much similarity. Particular deep-rooted traditions of tonal and visual design unmistakably brand historical and territorial practices in organ building. It is the joy of the itinerant Read more artist and audience alike to discover and reveal these imprints.

The K617 label has amassed local artists and instruments from the Lorraine region of France, that region in the East which directly borders Belgium and Germany. This area was the land of Johann Andreas Silbermann, the Baroque builder whose surviving masterpiece in Saint Quirin delights in movements of Balbâstre played by Michel Chapuis. But the Lorraine area has spawned other worthy if not always celebrated instruments over the centuries. These discs span the considerable gap from the wonderful Renaissance instrument in the Cathedral of Metz (one of the greatest French Gothic cathedrals with a cute little ' 'bird's nest' ' of a loft hung from the first bay of the Nave just below the triforium) to an organ completed in 1994 in Saint-Nicholas de Port. Each performer selects repertoire most suited to the period, character, and style of the organs.

But, does the region truly reflect an idiomatic dialect? Perhaps. Many of these organs approximate German influence and voicing practices. The most “French“ of the lot, the Cathedral in Verdun, also occasions one of the musical high-water marks of this set.

Organist Pierre Camonin performs an improvisation credited as “pour le 11 novembre“ in concert with a regional brass ensemble. One assumes this to be somewhat planned out, with themes prescored for the brass. Camonin realizes an orchestral style even hinting at the silent cinema accompaniments of old and liberally indulging patriotic gestures like quotes of the Marseillaise. Camonin also voices fluent and dramatic ideas with dash and verve, all the more amazing if his biography is precise in reporting his year or birth as 1903. That would make him something like ninety-two years old at the time of this recording! In comparison, the scholarly, musical, and otherwise completely enjoyable achievements of Chapuis and the others are but a buildup to this homage to the unrivaled elder statesman of organs in the Lorraine.

In sum, this unlikely set supplies delightful musical rewards and manifests an optimistic, even jolly spirit throughout. Just as some would argue that the cuisine of the region is unrivaled, so one is invited to sample a musical dialect of uncommon flavor and spice. Now if the K617 folks could have figured out how to package a meal from that splendid little restaurant down by the river in the shadow of Metz Cathedral, life would have been just perfect. Alas, some things just have to be tasted in person!

-- Haig Mardirosian, FANFARE [7/1996]
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Works on This Recording

Bergamasca, for keyboard, SSWV 560 by Samuel Scheidt
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  Cathédrale Saint-Etienne, Metz, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Suite for organ in 3eme ton by Nicolas-Antoine Lebègue
Performer:  Anne-Catherine Bucher (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Maurice, Domgermain 
Length: 15 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Capriccio sopra il cucu by Johann Kaspar Kerll
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Nicolas, La Croix-aux-Min 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BuxWV 223 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Nicolas, La Croix-aux-Min 
Length: 6 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Pieces (2) for Organ: no 1, Andante with Variations in D major by Felix Mendelssohn
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-François-de-Sales, Diffem 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Sonata for Organ no 4 in A minor, Op. 98 by Joseph Rheinberger
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-François-de-Sales, Diffem 
Length: 17 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Orpheus for Organ, LW E11 by Franz Liszt
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860-1872 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Sébastien, Nancy, France 
Length: 12 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Preludes & Postludes for organ, Op.78: No. 3, Aus meinen Herzens Grunde by Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Period: Modern 
Venue:  la Basilique Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Nicola 
Length: 1 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Preludes & Postludes for organ, Op.78: No. 4, Aus tiefer Not by Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Period: Modern 
Venue:  la Basilique Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Nicola 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Symphonic Chorales (3), Op. 87: no 1, Ach bleib'mit deiner Gnade by Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Germany 
Venue:  la Basilique Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Nicola 
Length: 7 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Preludes & Postludes for organ, Op.78: No. 10, Jesus meine Zuversicht by Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Period: Modern 
Venue:  la Basilique Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Nicola 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Improvisation pour un 11 novembre, for organ by Pierre Camonin
Performer:  Pierre Camonin (Organ)
Date of Recording: 12/2002 
Venue:  Notre Dame Cathedral, Verdun, France 
Length: 14 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Fantasia super "Jesu, meine Freude", BWV 713 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Written: 1708-20 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Catherine, Waly 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 703 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Catherine, Waly 
Length: 0 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Herr Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BWV 698 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739-1742; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Catherine, Waly 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr', BWV 717 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Venue:  l'église Saint-Catherine, Waly 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Partite sopra Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig, BWV 768 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1700; Lüneburg, Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Nicolas, Sarreguemines 
Length: 17 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Work(s): Noël Bourguignon by Claude-Bénigne Balbastre
Performer:  Michel Chapuis (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  l'église priorale, Saint-Quirin 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Joseph est bien marié by Claude-Bénigne Balbastre
Performer:  Michel Chapuis (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  l'église priorale, Saint-Quirin 
Length: 4 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Capriccio for organ in D by Georg Böhm
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Nicolas, La Croix-aux-Min 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Suite de Noëls No. 1: Prélude suivi de "A la venue de Noël" by Claude-Bénigne Balbastre
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Nicolas, La Croix-aux-Min 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Prélude Funèbre, for organ in B minor (from Pieces (6) for organ) by Guy Ropartz
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  l'église Saint-Sébastien, Nancy, France 
Length: 7 Minutes 54 Secs. 

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