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Saint-Saens: Organ Symphony; Poulenc: Concerto for Organ / Trotter

Saint-saens / Trotter / Auckland Po / Volmer
Release Date: 07/10/2012 
Label:  Atoll Records (New Zealand)   Catalog #: 116   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Francis PoulencCamille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Thomas Trotter
Conductor:  Arvo Volmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Characteristic, occasionally creepy, rich and full. Very convincing.

  This disc was made to commemorate the rebuilding of the Klais Orgelbau organ of Auckland Town Hall in 2010. This was the new organ’s first concert with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. It’s a very impressive instrument – the full specification is given in the booklet notes – and it’s recorded very well too. The colours and range come across very well in the stereoscape, and the bass is given just the right amount of prominence. It’s played with predictable flair by the estimable fingers of Thomas Trotter, whose musicianship needs no praise from me. The most interesting thing about the performances, however, is the playing of the Auckland
Read more strings, which I found very impressive. For the Poulenc, in particular, they are just right for the characteristic, occasionally creepy sound of the music, rich and full for many of the slower passages but pulsating with life in the whizzy quick passages. Arvo Volmer’s control of the unfolding structure is also very convincing. It’s clear when a new section comes along, but the piece still feels like a coherent whole.
The Saint-Saëns isn’t quite so special and there is nothing remarkable to make it stand out from the considerable competition you’ll find elsewhere for this work. Equally, however, there is nothing wrong with it and, again, the playing of the strings in the slow movement is very convincing. In fact it is remarkably French-sounding in both the pointing of the phrasing and the luxuriant quality of the sound. It won’t make anyone do away with their discs of Levine/Preston or Barenboim/Litaize, but it shows off both the orchestra and the instrument very well.
-- Simon Thompson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Thomas Trotter (Organ)
Conductor:  Arvo Volmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; France 
Venue:  Live  Auckland Town Hall 
Length: 21 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Symphony no 3 in C minor, Op. 78 "Organ" by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Thomas Trotter (Organ)
Conductor:  Arvo Volmer
Written: 1886 
Venue:  Live  Auckland Town Hall 
Length: 35 Minutes 28 Secs. 

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