David Ponsford’s excellent series of organ music from the French Golden Age reaches volume 3 with substantial works performed on a stunning instrument by Jean Boizard (c. 1675-1717). This organ is a remarkable survivor of two fires, the French Revolution and two world wars, and has remained essentially unmodified from its early 18th century origins.
André Raison is the less familiar of the two names represented here. He was one of the highest ranking organists in Paris in his day, and composed five organ masses. These are not always based on plainchant melodies and many of the movements have a secular connection to harpsichord dance forms of the time. This results in quite a lively feel for much of the piece, thoughRead more there is a nice balance between these and the more stately music essential for the appropriate ecclesiastical atmosphere of certain parts of the service. Raison’s Messe du premier ton is something of a compendium of organ styles and moods, and perfect for demonstrating the qualities of the instrument played. The Offerte du 5me ton, Le vivre le roy des Parisiens celebrates the recovery of Louis XIV from a nasty operation, and is an exuberant work full of dance sections. The often spectacular registrations follow those specified by the composer.
Louis-Nicolas Clérambault was a pupil of Raison, and the two suites on this recording are dedicated to him. Clérambault was organist by royal appointment and a natural successor to Raison, composing in the same French Baroque tradition but showing a development in terms of scale and ever richer harmonic treatments. The two suites each have seven movements which would have been the requirement for an alternatim Magnificat: the organ couplets alternating with sung plainchant. Explorations of tonal contrast and dialogue as well as counterpoint and other aspects of French and Italian styles all join to create the kind of superb sequence in which you can just lie back and lose yourself, confident of inhabiting the sounds of the time in which these pieces were written.
The Clérambault works in particular are fairly popular on recordings, and there is even a version made using the same instrument in an otherwise vocal programme from the Virgin Veritas label (see review). David Ponsford’s superb series deserves support however, and truly rewards investment. A review of volume 1 can be found, and [of] volume 2. This third volume is something of a highlight but each has its own special character and they all belong together on your shelf of organ treasures.
- Dominy Clements,
MusicWeb InternationalRead less
Works on This Recording
Church Bellsby Recorded Sound Performer:
David Ponsford (Organ)
Venue: Abbey, St.-Michel-en-Thiérache, Aisne, F Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs.
Messe du premier ton, for organby André Raison Performer:
David Ponsford (Organ)
Period: Baroque Written: 1688 Venue: Abbey, St.-Michel-en-Thiérache, Aisne, F Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs.
Messe du premier ton, Kyrie: Premier Kyrie: Plein jeu: Gravement
Messe du premier ton, Kyrie: Autre Premier Kyrie: Grand Plein Jeu: Gravement
Messe du premier ton, Kyrie: Second Kyrie: Basse et dessus de trompette
Messe du premier ton, Kyrie: Christe: Trio
Messe du premier ton, Kyrie: Quatriesme Kyrie: Duo
Messe du premier ton, Kyrie: Dernier Kyrie: Dialogue sur les grans jeux
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Et in tera pax: Plein jeu
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Benedicimus te: fugue sur toute sorte de jeux
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Glorificamus te: Recit de cornet
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Domine: Recit de cromorne
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Domine Deus agnus: rio
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Qui Tollis
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Quoniam tu solus: Basse de trompette
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Tu solus altissimus
Messe du premier ton, Gloria: Amen: Dialogue sur les grands jeux
Messe du premier ton, Sanctus: Sanctus: Plein jeu
Messe du premier ton, Sanctus: Second Sanctus: Recit de 2 dessus de tierce
Messe du premier ton, Sanctus: Benedictus: Basse et Dessus de voix humaine
Messe du premier ton, Sanctus: Elevation: Trio a claviers
Messe du premier ton, Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei: Petit et grand plein jeu
Messe du premier ton, Agnus Dei: Second Agnus: Duo
Messe du premier ton, Agnus Dei: Deo gratias: Plein jeu
Offerte du 5me ton, Le vive le roy des Parisiens
Suite de premier ton: Grand plein jeu
Suite de premier ton: Fugue
Suite de premier ton: Duo
Suite de premier ton: Trio
Suite de premier ton: Basse et dessus de trompette
Suite de premier ton: Recits de cromorne et de cornet separe
Suite de premier ton: Dialogue sur les grands jeux
Suite de deuxieme ton: Plein jeu
Suite de deuxieme ton: Duo
Suite de deuxieme ton: Trio
Suite de deuxieme ton: Basse de cromorne
Suite de deuxieme ton: Flutes
Suite de deuxieme ton: Recit de nazard
Suite de deuxieme ton: Caprice sur les grands jeux
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Exceptional in Every WayJuly 17, 2014By Wil L W. (Richwood, TX)See All My Reviews"This CD is a great introduction to the organ works of Andre Raison and Louis-Nicolas Clerambault. These accessible works are excellently performed by organist David Ponsford, and played on a magnificent period organ. The sound engineering is top notch. The well prepared booklet gives details on the organ specifications, composers, and performer. Good pictures of the organ are also included. I am completely satisfied with this CD and recommend it without reservations."Report Abuse
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