One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Plain text for smartphones
and printers

Advertising on

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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Complete Organ Works
track listing below review
Ben van Oosten (organ)
rec. Cavaillé-Coll Organ, Église de la Madeleine, Paris, May 2012
MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 316 1767-2 [3 CDs: 57:12 + 56:23 + 52:34]

Experience Classicsonline

Camille Saint-Saëns is a composer that I greatly admire. It is quite remarkable that his prolific composing career spanned some seventy years. When he began composing Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Schumann and Chopin were all writing music. At the other end of his lifespan Saint-Saëns was still creatively active when Stravinsky was shocking the music world with his The Rite of Spring, and Schoenberg and Webern were writing their radical twelve-tone music.
Interest in the music of Saint-Saëns was undoubtedly assisted by the 50th anniversary of his death that fell in 1971 and the 150th anniversary of his birth that came in 1985. German label Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm (MDG) has served the cause of Saint-Saëns well by producing four beautifully recorded discs of chamber and solo piano music. Another welcome addition to the Saint-Saëns discography on MDG is this splendid three disc set for unaccompanied organ.
Renowned organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll completed the construction of the organ used here with its four manual console and 48 stops in 1846. It is this same Cavaillé-Coll instrument that Saint-Saëns would have played during his period as organist at La Madeleine during the years 1857-77. A splendid array of colourful sonorities and a myriad wondrous sounds are on display here.
With a compositional span of over sixty years Saint-Saëns’ organ music is revealed as consistently varied and inventive, often atmospheric, frequently spiritual, colourful and frequently memorably melodic. Opening Ben van Oosten’s programme is the splendid Marche réligieuse, Op. 107 from 1897 bearing a dedication to Queen Marie-Christine of Spain. This is a weighty, imperial march, splendidly demonstrating the awesome power of this magnificent instrument. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Trois Rhapsodies sur des Cantiques bretons, Op. 7, a relatively early work from 1866. Bearing a dedication to Gabriel Fauré the three Rhapsodies were written after Saint-Saëns had made a pilgrimage with Fauré to the Chapelle Sainte-Anne-la-Palud in the Bretagne region of France. The Rhapsody No. 2 in D major stands out with its weighty and stirring fanfare reminding me of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. Remarkable writing is found in the Trois Préludes et Fugues, Op. 99 from 1894. It is dedicated to his organist friends Widor, Guilmant and Gigout. Especially appealing is the Prélude No. 1 in E major with its graceful meandering theme creating a pool of calm. I was struck by the meditative quality of the Élévation ou Communion, Op. 13 written around 1856 but published some 24 years later. Dedicated to organist Alexis Chauvet the E major score is a contemplative Andantino designed to accompany the communion section of the mass. The always authoritative van Oosten is very much at home with the Cavaillé-Coll organ. His undoubted prowess makes him an impressive advocate for this rewarding repertoire.
Recorded at the church of La Madeleine, Paris the MDG engineers have produced first class sound quality. I must mention the excellent booklet notes that are both interesting and highly detailed. They are a perfect example of the standard of documentation that can be achieved. Admirers of Saint-Saëns’ music will surely relish this excellent release. It will also draw in lovers of late-Romantic organ music looking for something a little different.
Michael Cookson 

Track Listing
Marche réligieuse, Op. 107 (1897) [5:14]
Trois Rhapsodies sur des Cantiques bretons, Op. 7 (1866)
No. 1 in E major [5:35]
No. 2 in major [6:36]
No. 3 in A minor [8:20]
Fantaisie in E flat major, without opus number (1857) [5:50]
Fantaisie in D flat major, Op. 101 (1895) [12:04]
Fantaisie in C major, Op. 157 (1919) [12:54]
Trois Préludes et Fugues, Op. 99 (1894)
No. 1 in E major [9:51]
No. 2 in B major [8:03]
No. 3 in E flat major [7:16]
Trois Préludes et Fugues, Op. 109 (1898)
No. 1 in D minor [9:37]
No. 2 in G major [5:39]
No. 3 in C major [8:57]
Bénédiction nuptiale in F major, Op. 9 (1859) [6:24]
Sept Improvisations, Op. 150 (1916/17) [38:58]
Cyprès No. 1 from set of Cyprès et Lauriers, Op. 156 (1919) [7:48]
Élévation ou Communion in E major, Op. 13 (c. 1856) [5:39]

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:



















































































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

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.