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Sounds French
Pierre COCHEREAU (1924-1984)

1. Entrée Grand Orgue (from ‘Les Offices du Dimanche’, 1974) transcribed by David Briggs [2.23]
Pierre COCHEREAU (1924-1984)

2. Scherzo Symphonique (1968) transcribed by David Briggs [7.04]
César FRANCK (1822-1890)

5. Choral no.1 (1890) [15.17]
David BRIGGS (b. 1962)

Symphonie en Improvisation (22 June 2003)
4. Moderato [5.26]
5. Scherzo [3.37]
6. Adagio [4.30]
7. Final [6.00]
Jean LANGLAIS (1907-1991)

Messe Alme Pater (1985)
8. Kyrie [1.40]
9. Gloria [2.42]
10. Sanctus [0.57]
11. Agnus Dei [1.37]
Jean LANGLAIS (1907-1991)

12. Incantation pour un jour Saint (1949)[5.38]
Jeanne DEMESSIEUX (1921-1968)

13. Attende Domine from ’12 Chorals-Preludes’(1950) [3.59]
Marcel DUPRE (1886-1971)

14. Allegro Deciso (Evocation, Op.37) (1941) [6.50]
David Briggs (Organ)
Organ of Blackburn Cathedral, UK (Walker, 1969, restored by David Wood, 2002)


In the very good acoustics of Blackburn Cathedral, the Walker organ sounds at its best after its restoration ... and remarkably French! The new Solo department, ‘Clarinette’ and ‘Hautbois’, again very Gallic, the two digital ranks in the pedal, a great number of couplers - all of these are great enhancements made by David Wood. I agree with Richard Tanner when he writes in the very informative booklet that ‘the result is an incredibly versatile and reliable instrument with tremendous range of dynamic and tonal colour, coupled with a sense of sheer power, but also great subtlety and tremendous beauty.’

In the hands of David Briggs this organ finds its master. The programme is cleverly selected achieving the necessary balance between the pieces. Briggs’ use of the full range of stops and swell pedals, offers fantastic moments: breathtaking crescendos and diminuendos, as well as melodic embroidered miniatures especially in the slow passages.

The two improvisations of Cochereau, whose influence looms large in Briggs’ musical development, show his ingenuity in the art of improvisation. It also reveals the organist’s big commitment to spend a great amount of time transcribing some of Cochereau’s recorded improvisations from LP and later CD. The result is the unique Symphonie en Improvisation, which is so well structured and carries an immense feeling of long-breathed symphonic phrasing. Above all, and in spite of any influences, it sounds uniquely Briggs! The Langlais and Franck pieces are performed with commitment to the composers’ style, great clarity and musicianship. The Attende Domine is presented with sensitivity and its calmness is so well-focused. The Allegro Deciso gives a dramatic, forceful conclusion to this outstanding CD.

Christina Antoniadou

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