Notes and Editorial Reviews
Outstanding playing and recording make this a real treat for organ enthusiasts.
Until Gerard Brooks came on the scene, I doubt whether any but the most dedicated specialists had any idea just how prolific a composer Eugène Gigout was. The two previous releases in this Complete Organ Works series (5/02, 8/03) have contained some 20 pieces, only one of which – the Grande Choeur dialogue – had already appeared on the Gramophone database. Brooks’ masterly playing, magnificently supported by Priory’s superlative recording, has shown that lack of representation in the CD catalogues is no reflection on musical quality.
With this third volume we encounter the most familiar of Gigout’s organ works; the Dix
Pièces published in Paris in 1892. There can be few organists who do not possess this tome, if only for the scintillating B minor Toccata, and currently the database lists 12 different recordings while many more have come and gone. Brooks’ may not be the most impressive of these but he is impeccably faithful to the score and, playing on what is described as ‘one of the finest surviving examples of Cavaillé-Coll’s work’, we have here an unquestionably authoritative version, not just of the Toccata but of all 10 pieces. What’s more, even those which pass most organists by – such as the opening ‘Prélude-Choral et Allegro’ or the sparse-textured ‘Offertoire ou Communion’, and not forgetting the magical ‘Poèmes Mystiques’ – are revealed as musical gems ideally suited to a resourceful organ.
In addition to performing a signal service to the memory of Gigout, Gerard Brooks and Priory have also served the CD-buying organ enthusiast well with these outstanding performances and recordings. I suspect the Gigout resource must be pretty well exhausted now, but I hope they will turn their attention elsewhere. Organ recordings of this calibre are few and far between.
-- Marc Rochester, Gramophone [7/2004]
Works on This Recording
Poèmes Mystiques by Eugene Gigout
Gerard Brooks (Organ)
Pièce Jubilaire by Eugene Gigout
Gerard Brooks (Organ)
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