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Bach, Franck, Widor: Organ Works / Fernando Germani


Release Date: 09/10/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics Double Fforte Catalog #: 69328   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachCésar FranckCharles-Marie Widor
Performer:  Fernando Germani
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 14 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

One of the greatest organ virtuosos of this century.

My youth has come back to haunt me. I remember one Saturday afternoon when, as a nine-year-old chorister, I took the bus to Eric Spencer’s record shop in Welling to spend my hard-earned wedding fees. The two records I bought so affected me that I determined there and then to become an organist; Helmut Walcha playing the Clavier-Ubung (a CD transfer of which I’ve already reviewed in the pages of Gramophone – Archiv Produktion, 10/89) and Fernando Germani playing Widor’s Toccata. The latter was my first exposure to this piece (well we all have to start down the slippery slope sometime) and I was bowled over – it remains the yardstick by which I judge all other
Read more performances of it. It dazzles, it thrills, it has authority. Germani’s speed is exactly right – not by conforming to the score’s contentious metronome marking nor in emulating Widor’s speed in his notorious recording (surely one of the more disastrous ventures in the history of the gramophone), but in achieving the perfect balance between superficial excitement, textural clarity and musical substance. The Selby Abbey organ (sadly EMI include no details about the organs or the player on this otherwise attractively packaged two-disc set) sounds magnificent and Germani finds in it an uncanny Frenchness for his compelling performances of the Franck pieces.

EMI quotes the October 1962 Gramophone review: “Germani is... a virtuoso in the grand tradition of organ playing”. How true, and how welcome it is to have a chance to hear again in such vivid detail one of the greatest organ virtuosos of this century.

-- Marc Rochester, Gramophone [11/1996]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1959 
Venue:  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 15 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Chorales (3) for Organ: no 1 in E major, M 38 by César Franck
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1961 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 35 Secs. 
3.
Chorales (3) for Organ: no 2 in B minor, M 39 by César Franck
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1961 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Chorales (3) for Organ: no 3 in A minor, M 40 by César Franck
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1961 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 40 Secs. 
5.
Pastorale for Organ in E major, Op. 19 by César Franck
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1961 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 24 Secs. 
6.
Pieces (3) for Organ: no 3 - Pièce héroïque in B minor, M 37 by César Franck
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1961 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 51 Secs. 
7.
Symphony for Organ no 5 in f minor, Op. 42 no 1: 5th movement, Toccata by Charles-Marie Widor
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1880; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 07/1961 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1708; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1959 
Venue:  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 2 Secs. 
9.
Concerto for Organ in D minor, BWV 596 (after Vivaldi) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1964 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 12 Minutes 54 Secs. 
10.
Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708-1712; Arnstadt, Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1959 
Venue:  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 3 Secs. 
11.
Concerto for Organ solo in A minor, BWV 593 (after Vivaldi) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Fernando Germani (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1964 
Venue:  Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 34 Secs. 

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