WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

French Organ Music Vol. 3 / Ponsford

Release Date: 07/08/2014 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 6268   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Recorded SoundAndré RaisonLouis-Nicolas Clérambault
Performer:  David Ponsford
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

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, though
Read 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 International Read less

Works on This Recording

Church Bells by Recorded Sound
Performer:  David Ponsford (Organ)
Venue:  Abbey, St.-Michel-en-Thiérache, Aisne, F 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Messe du premier ton, for organ by André Raison
Performer:  David Ponsford (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1688; France 
Venue:  Abbey, St.-Michel-en-Thiérache, Aisne, F 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Offerte du Cinquième Ton: "Le Vive le Roy des Parisiens" by André Raison
Performer:  David Ponsford (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Abbey, St.-Michel-en-Thiérache, Aisne, F 
Length: 7 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Suite du premier ton by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault
Performer:  David Ponsford (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Venue:  Abbey, St.-Michel-en-Thiérache, Aisne, F 
Length: 17 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Premier livre d'orgue contenant deux suites: Suite du deuxième ton by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault
Performer:  David Ponsford (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1710; France 
Venue:  Abbey, St.-Michel-en-Thiérache, Aisne, F 
Length: 15 Minutes 24 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Exceptional in Every Way July 17, 2014 By L. Wilborn (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
Review This Title