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Loic MALLIE (b. 1947)

Dialogue des Flutes [7'40]
Autour des Principaux [6'04]
Quand les Pleins-Jeux s'emmelent [4'53]
Les Anches <<solo>> [3'12]
Dialogue de Cornets, Clarinette et Hautbois [6'56]
Avanti: crescendo du pp au fff [7'35]
Le doux delire des melanges creux [4'20]
Un Cor Anglais bien <<francais>> et une Voix bien Humaine [11'44]
Delires alleluiatique [4'55]
Loic Mallie, organs
Rec: St-Pothin de Lyon, 6th November 2004 DDD


In an interview in the booklet of one of his other Hortus CDs, the brilliant Loic Mallie tells us that one of the typical assignments he gives improvisation students is to "demonstrate what an organ sounds like". This is the thinking, I suspect, behind this CD: primarily to demonstrate the new instrument in Mallie's church, Kern's creation for St-Pothin in Lyon. Given that the organ is very much the focus of attention, it is a great pity that no stop list is given. Conceptually the organ seems interesting: three manuals, two of which enclosed, a symphonic aesthetic, with the re-use of much Merklin pipework, 61/32 compasses, varied wind-pressures, mechanical action with Barker machines but electric stop action. The organ speaks the language of late 19th century France well, but with a slightly more neutral accent than one might expect; the ghost of Kern's reconstructions of the 1960s and 1970s, (Toulouse Cathedral springs to mind) not entirely exorcised. Not that that is necessarily a negative comment, though I do find the Pleins-Jeux of the third improvisation a bit hard. The overall quality of the instrument seems, on the basis of this recording to be undeniably high.

Mallie himself seems inspired by it at any rate. This is now the third of his improvisation recordings I have reviewed, and while this is certainly the darkest, the most atonal, and the least listener-friendly, it is deeply admirable. His imaginative use of the organ and his very special feeling for atmosphere are the keys to the success here. Moreover, this is probably the recording which shows most clearly the influence of Messiaen on Mallie, both harmonically, and through other typical techniques of the former's musical language; even the birds are never far away.

This is a marvellously different demonstration of a new organ of great interest. Despite not grabbing me in the way that 'Retour de Bayreuth' did, and despite the short playing time and lack of a proper booklet (and that only in French), I have to recommend this.

Chris Bragg

see also

Loic MALLIE (b. 1947) Retour de Bayreuth - Improvisations on Themes of Wagner: Andante [5'57]; Scherzando con fuoco [2'24]; Mysterioso [6'11]; Molto vivo, Tutti [9'13]; Caccia [1'56]; Prelude de choral  [4'50]; Fugato [4'18]; Marche Funèbre [8'52]; Humoresque [1'46]; "Tristan..."  [6'06]; Final [12'14] Loic Mallie, organ Rec: 7-8 November 1998, La Madeleine, Paris DDD EDITIONS HORTUS HORTUS 017 [63'47][CB]

It is a privilege to spend an hour in the company of such music-making. If this has not yet found its way to your CD shelves, buy it without hesitation. ... see Full Review


Loïc MALLIÉ (b. 1947) Jeux - Improvisations on themes of Debussy, Autour de Debussy [16'50] Prelude, Fugue et final [4'53], [4'36], [4'35] Anthologie, la Grotte, Contraste [5'33] [4'22] Clins d'Oeil [1'44], [2'55], [3'26], [5'13] Jeux [6'25] Final [6'27] Loïc Maille, organ Rec. Saint Vaast de Bailleul, September 2003. DDD EDITIONS HORTUS 032 [71'50] [CB]

I'm left with mixed feelings overall ... see Full Review

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