Gillian Weir, through her idiomatically convincing and infectiously vervy performances, serves up yet a musical feast.
These recordings were made in the 1970s by Argo. They were fine in both their original LP releases and in their first CD reissues back in 1998. Here they come around again, this time under the auspices of the Australian Eloquence subdivision of Decca. Lo and behold, they’re still fine. The passage of time, with its inevitably mounting competition, has not diminished them in the least...
Volume 4 is of particular merit. There, with the exception of Mulet’s Toccata tu es Petrus, Weir focuses on the late French Baroque/early Classical period. Jean-François Dandrieu (1682–1738), LouisRead more Marchand (1669–1732), and Nicolas de Grigny (1672–1703) breathe the same air as Rameau, one of my greatest heroes from that transitional period. He was a composer whom I had dismissed in my high school days as yet another vapid note-spinner. I’ve lately been obsessing on his magical music (it’s truly amazing how much he has learned in the intervening 40-odd years). Rameau exudes a highly fugitive and quintessentially French quality that stretches from his time and far into ours. It informs Bach and the best efforts of Telemann (two closet Francophiles), and reaches into the music of both Ravel and Messiaen, even touching Boulez’s still largely problematical scores. Weir captures it, and, through her idiomatically convincing and infectiously vervy performances, serves up yet another musical feast. She is similarly successful in dishing up English, Dutch, and German cuisine.
The organs selected for each piece are always period and repertoire appropriate and cleanly and brightly recorded in excellent analog sound. Pedal tones ring out with great authority, but never muddy things, or make the middle and high registers (where so much of this music resides) seem etiolated and distant. Argo’s technical people unfailingly achieve an effective balance between direct and reflected sound regardless of the instrument and its venue.
no more 'burns'July 20, 2012By Robert S. (Chicago, IL)See All My Reviews"I decided I didn't want to keep this recording because of the way Weir rips through the Mulet. I took it to a local used vinyl/CD shop to trade and they wouldn't take it because it was a 'burn.' Then they explained how they are made and their defects. I'll not be ordering any more Arkiv reissues."Report Abuse