One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

BUY NOW 

Buy through MusicWeb for £14.99 postage paid World-wide. Immediate delivery direct from Editions Hortus
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Complete Organ Works and Motets Vol. 1

Veni creator, Hymne pour quatre voix d'hommes (1858) [7'12]
Thème, variations et Choral sur le Dies irae [6'22]
Prélude et fugue en re mineur op. 109 [9'18]
Ave, Maria (1914) [4'16]
Laudate (1916) [2'33]
Troisième Fantaisie op. 157 (1919) [14'28]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)

Salve Regina [4'24]
Franz LISZT transc. SAINT-SAËNS

La prédication aux oiseaux (1863) [13'12]
Vincent Genvrin, organ
Choeur Sacrum/Andris Veismanis
Rec Riga Cathedral, Latvia, La Madeleine, Paris (La predication...) 1997 DDD
EDITIONS HORTUS 011 [62'42]

 

The idea of coupling the organ works of Saint-Saëns with the Motets is a good one I think; Saint-Saëns' organ music is not of a consistently high enough quality to make one necessarily want to listen through entire CDs of it. In the first of Hortus's offerings Saint-Saëns' relationship with Liszt is explored by organist Vincent Genvrin and the Latvian choir Sacrum.

The choice of Riga Cathedral's mammoth Walcker organ may seem a curious one for this repertoire. However, Saint-Saëns' music is less Cavaillé-Coll specific than the music of most of his Parisian contemporaries, (Franck is of course far more specific in his registrations, for instance). Musically speaking, much of his music, and especially the pieces inspired by Liszt, is rather Germanic - the Fugues for instance. Genvrin points out in his interesting programme note that Saint-Saëns played often in Germany, and was an admirer of Merklin, the most Germanically-inspired of the French builders of the time. It must be said that the Riga organ pulls off the challenge very well; despite its background it is large enough to contain enough reeds and other essential colours needed for the music. And, when an impossible registration is called for in the transcription of Liszt's La Prédication, Genvrin moves to La Madeleine.....

Genvrin, titulaire of Soissons Cathedral, and a former student of the late Jean Boyer, plays with a marvellously unforced musicality throughout. Only in the rather laborious op 157 Fantaisie did I find something lacking - one has to use more imagination to bring this piece off the page I think - perhaps the outer sections could be more fluid? On the other hand the Liszt transcription is wonderfully atmospheric.

The singing by the Latvian choir is good, but not exceptional. The effect of the distantly recorded Liszt Ave Maria is enchanting however, and the way in which the atmosphere and key are continued in the following Prelude et Fugue is very clever.

Hortus have made here a spacious and attractive recording at both venues. It is a shame that, given the undeniably interesting organs here recorded, no description or photos are included.

Chris Bragg


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 


Return to 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.