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Three Centuries of Organ Music at Notre Dame de Paris / Olivier Latry

Sejean / Calviere / Vierne / Leguay / Latry
Release Date: 06/25/2013 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5338   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Nicolas SéjeanGuillaume A. CalviereLouis-Claude DaquinClaude-Béninge Balbastre,   ... 
Performer:  Olivier Latry
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This kind of compilation needs to have a good raison d’être to tease my interest, and Olivier Latry’s Trois siècles d’orgue has just that. Fifty-two names of organists at Notre Dame in Paris have been recorded since it was built in the 12th century, and the booklet notes for this release give quite a full account of their history, if lacking in information about the actual music. The programme is a chronological journey from the 18th century to the present day, and while there will always have to be omissions, there is plenty to get one’s teeth into with this particular album.

Opening with Nicolas Séjean’s remarkable Noël Suisse, we are treated to the entire dynamic range of the organ, from its
Read more rousing march-like theme to the most delicate of variations. These Noëls and similar rousing intermezzi were the organ equivalent of Rock ’n’ Roll for organists in this period and, separated by Guillaume Antoine Calvière’s gentle Pièce, both Daquin and Balbastre entertain with their take on familiar tunes. Alexandre Guilmant throws us with sudden verve into the Romantic era with the toccata Final to his First Sonata. Guilmant’s spectacular music contrasts with the restraint of Louis Vierne, whose Clair de lune is filled with gorgeous impressionistic colour. Feux follets is a fascinating piece, darting with nervous energy, while an old favourite the Carillon de Westminster makes a welcome appearance.

With Jean-Pierre Leguay we are truly into the 20th century, and his more avant-garde sounds and tonal choices almost inevitably remind us of Messiaen, while at the same time making us realise that there must be numerous organist/composers who languish, almost entirely neglected under the great man’s shadow. Leguay’s Préludes are compact essays, covering a huge territory in their miniature dimensions. Pierre Cochereau’s Boléro does what it says on the tin, adding percussion to provide the ratatatat rhythm, while the organ builds inexorably in a strange but highly engaging tune-free anti-Ravel version of the dance. Olivier Latry’s own closing Improvisation pushes the grand instrument to its limits in a work of high-octane energy and considerable substance.

This programme is a fine souvenir of one of the world’s greatest organs played by one of today’s best organists. The programme is both satisfying in its own right as well as an invitation to explore further, and with a very fine recording it’s also a sonic treat.

– Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

Noël suisse by Nicolas Séjean
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: Classical 
Written: France 
Pièce for Organ by Guillaume A. Calviere
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Noël Grand Jeu et Duo, for organ by Louis-Claude Daquin
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Marche des Marseillois et l'air Ça-Ira by Claude-Béninge Balbastre
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: Classical 
Written: France 
Noëls en tambourin by JJ Beauvarl.-Charpentier
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Sonata for Organ no 1 in D minor, Op. 42: Finale by Felix Alexandre Guilmant
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; France 
Pièces de fantaisie - Suite no 3, Op. 54: 6th movement, Carillon de Westminster by Louis Vierne
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1927; France 
Pièces de fantaisie - Suite no 2, Op. 53: 5th movement, Claire de lune by Louis Vierne
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; France 
Pièces de fantaisie - Suite no 2, Op. 53: 4th movement, Feux follets by Louis Vierne
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1926; France 
Preludes (23) for Organ: no 9 by Jean-Pierre Leguay
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Preludes (23) for Organ: no 6 by Jean-Pierre Leguay
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Preludes (23) for Organ: no 8 by Jean-Pierre Leguay
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Bolero sur un thème de Charles Racquet by Pierre Cochereau
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Improvisation for Organ by Olivier Latry
Performer:  Olivier Latry (Organ)

Sound Samples

3 Fugues et plusiers noels: Noel No. 3. Noel suisse
Nouveau livre de noels, Op. 2: No. 10. Noel grand-jeu et duo, Quand Dieu naquit a Noel
Marche des Marseillais et l'air Ca ira
12 Noels varies, Op. 13: No. 3. Plusieurs noels en tambourin
Organ Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 42: III. Final
Pieces de fantaisie, Op. 53 (Suite No. 2): V. Clair de lune
Pieces de fantaisie, Op. 53 (Suite No. 2): IV. Feux follets
Pieces de fantaisie, Op. 54 (Suite No. 3): VI. Carillon de Westminster
19 Preludes: No. 9. -
19 Preludes: No. 6. -
19 Preludes: No. 7. -
Bolero sur un theme de Charles Racquet
Improvisation (for V5338 track 14): Improvisation

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