Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


paid for

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616


AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
Symphony for Organ No. 7 in A-minor Op. 42 No. 3 (1887) [36:43]
Symphony for Organ No. 9 in C-minor Op. 70 “Gothique” (1895) [28:49]
Frédéric Ledroit (organ)
rec. Church of the Madeleine, Paris, 4-6 March 2007. DDD
Text and organ specifications provided
SKARBO DSK1076 [65:34]
Experience Classicsonline

The concept of the organ symphony was invented by Widor. However, in his ten symphonies the concept can mean different things. Sometimes it means a four-movement work in more or less classical symphonic form, written for the organ. Sometimes it means a work that is held together by cyclic form as in the works of Franck and his school. But it always means a work in which the coloristic capabilities of the nineteenth century organ, especially as exemplified by the creations of Cavaillé-Coll, are utilized in the same way as the instruments of a full orchestra. On this disc we have the seventh symphony, which is like a suite, with thematic relationships between movements and the ninth, which is in the four movements of a regular symphony, but again with relationships between movements. They are played by Frédéric Ledroit, organist of Angoulême Cathedral, whose expertise I reviewed favorably a few months ago on a disc of Langlais (see review) on which he collaborated with Jerome Kauffman.
On this disc Ledroit pays the organ at the Madeleine. As happens with many recordings in this church some of the high notes are a little sharp and reverberation can be a problem. The seventh has six movements. The performance of the first movement is carefully constructed: there is no rushing here and a beautiful sense of tone. The choral of the second movement contains the material on which much of the rest of the symphony is based. This too is beautifully played, but again the dry sound of the grand organ interferes with the overall experience. Voicing and rhythm are excellently handled by Ledroit. The end of the movement consists of imaginative variations which lead into the third movement: light-hearted with a neo-classical tone and a pastoral middle section that Ledroit brings out well. The fourth movement Allegro is a long meditation which was probably an influence on Vierne-Ledroit handles the rhythmic contrasts in this and the fifth movement very ably. One drawback is that there is some background noise in these movements. The Finale demonstrates the organ at full throttle; it is almost too well captured by the engineers but in general the dynamic contrasts are well recorded.
The ninth Symphony is a very different work from the seventh and the latter’s three siblings. It is in the four movements of a classical symphony and incorporates the traditional choral, Puer natus est nobis, not one of the composer’s own creation. Along with the tenth symphony it marks a return to a greater concern with structure and its title Gothique refers to the architectural style of the place of its premiere: the Cathedral of Saint-Ouen in Rouen. The first movement is dense and serious, rather different from that of the seventh symphony. Ledroit seems a little uninspired when dealing with this movement, though his use of the reeds is very good. The recapitulation is well done, with good use of the swell, but the coda is not too exciting. In the following andante sostenuto Ledroit phrases the movement beautifully. The third movement is fugal, incorporating the Puer natus choral. The organ sounds its best in this movement, especially in the coda. The final movement consists of six variations on the Puer natus. Our soloist differentiates the variations well while still maintaining the structure of the overall movement. His use of the organ’s lower notes in the fourth variation is especially good, as is the return of the main theme in the pedals at the end, leading to a plein orgue followed by a serene choral and conclusion.
Overall this is a fine disc. There are occasional infelicities in the playing - especially in the ninth symphony and as indicated above there are moments when the organ does not sound at its best. Those who already have the complete symphonies with Ben van Oosten will not need this disc. For others they will serve very well, especially as Ledroit has recorded the fifth and sixth symphonies and may be planning to do all of them.
William Kreindler


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos







Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.