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French Firecrackers

Recorded on Various Famous French Organs

Cassette $12

The Music
As far as is possible, these recordings were made using the instruments for which the pieces were originally written, instruments which included the organs of St. Sulpice, St. Augustin, Notre Dame, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Clotilde, all in Paris. Several tracks are taken from Don Thompson's well received 1980 recording "Toccata" and re-released in response to many requests. Unfortunately the master tape has been lost, and so these tracks were taken directly from a virgin copy of the LP album. However, no matter how "virgin" the album is, there is inevitably some surface hiss and crackle which listeners on headphones may notice on the quieter numbers. We trust that most listeners will not detect this. A word about the Widor Toccata. This piece is almost invariably played at a frenetic pace. Nevertheless, in the early '70s Don Thompson and the French organist Xavier Darasse discovered at the Paris Conservatoire a 1932 recording of Widor playing his own piece and they were amazed to hear that he played it quite slowly, in a detached manner. They rushed out and both recorded it at Widor's church at that speed and it is this recording that you hear on this cassette, Mr Darasse's version is possibly even slower and for comparison may be heard on Vox SVBX 5315. Meanwhile, Widor's version has since been released on CD (EMI CDC 5 55037 2).

 

Playlist:

Toccata in F (Widor), Toccata in B Minor (Gigout), Arabesque # 1 (Debussy), Toccata (Edmundson), Gymnopedie # 3 (Satie), Carillon de Westminster (Vierne), Toccata from Suite Gothique (Boellman), Etude de Concert (Bonnet), March (Lefebure-Wely), Rondeau (Mouret), Intermezzo (Widor), Carillon (Murrill), Offertoire (Lefebury-Wely), Final (Franck)

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