> César Franck - The Organ Works [CA]: Classical CD Reviews- Oct 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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César FRANCK (1822-1890)
The Organ Works
CD 1

1.Choral No.1 in E major, 2. Prélude, Fugue et Variation, 3. Fantaisie in C, 4. Cantabile, 5. Piéce Héroique, 6. Choral No.2 in B minor, 7. Fantaisie in A. [79’38]
CD 2

1.Grande Pièce symphonique, 2. Choral No.3 in A minor, 3. Pastorale, 4. Prière, 5. Finale in B flat. [73’40]
Jennifer Bate, Organist
Organ of the Cathedral of St. Pierre de Beauvais
Recorded:1981 Re-mastered from 3 CDs: 2002
REGIS RRC2054 [152’78]


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This newly re-mastered edition of Franck’s organ works is performed by the famous organist Jennifer Bate at the magnificent organ of the Cathedral of St. Pierre de Beauvais. It is most warmly welcomed.

Bate’s interpretations, refkected back from sessions now more than twenty years old, is still fresh. It also evinces great fidelity to Franck’s scores. Her sense of drama and poetry is alternated, nicely stressing melodic lines. The musical effects produced in the magnificent acoustic of Beauvais Cathedral and Bate’s superb breath-taking technique are unforgettable.

The booklet provides very informative notes about César Franck and its music. The author is none other than Felix Aprahamian. It is unfortunate that this re-edited booklet fails to give any account of the organ at all; not even identifying the builder.

The general feeling of the performances is one associated with an excellent balance between the different parts coupled with dramatic weight and brilliance.

Christina Antoniadou

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