MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...


Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
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


Plain text for smartphones & 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 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




Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid world-wide.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Concerto in G minor for organ, string orchestra and timpani [21:55]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Symphony No. 3 Organ Symphony [36:00]
Thomas Trotter (organ)
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra/Arvo Volmer
rec. live, Auckland Town Hall, 25, 27 March 2010
ATOLL ACD116 [58:15]

Poulenc’s Organ Concerto was written for performance in the salon of the Princesse de Polignac in Paris, a large room equipped with an organ by Cavaillé-Coll. The result was one of the composer’s grandest and most serious works, with occasional sections when the sounds resemble those of a fairground organ. It has been often recorded and on a wide variety of instruments.
The present recording uses the rebuilt organ of Auckland Town Hall when it was played for the first time with orchestra. It is based by the organ-builders Klais on an instrument of 1911 by Norman & Beard. The results as heard on this disc are certainly very fine, albeit that they are a very long way from the more pungent sounds that I would imagine were heard at the first performance. As is clear from his many previous discs, Thomas Trotter is a very fine organist and his playing here is all that might have been hoped for. It is plain throughout that this is a work of great seriousness and drama. Perhaps the character of the organ helps in this, but the result is a fine and well recorded performance of the work, which would complement recordings using more French-sounding instruments or which place a greater emphasis on the more exuberant parts of the score.
The Saint-Saëns Symphony is usually known as the Organ Symphony although the organ is only one of the many imaginative and ingenious instrumental effects with which the work is packed. Somewhat surprisingly for a performance using a new organ and which was presumably intended to display it, that instrument is balanced in a more reticent way than usual here. Partly this is due to an organ sound which again is manifestly not French, as well as to the recorded balance, but I have no objection to this as it results in a more coherent musical narrative than is usually heard. This is not the most exciting version of the Symphony that I have heard — perhaps for that you need a live performance — but it is one that is satisfying overall musically. I had any of the work of the Estonian conductor Arvo Volmer before but I look forward to doing so again in future.
This is a coupling which many companies have hit upon, and several of its rivals add to their attraction by including interesting extra items. Clearly the present disc will commend itself to organ enthusiasts who want to hear what this new instrument — fully detailed in the booklet — sounds like, but others may be more cautious. These are both eminently musical accounts of the works and I hope that what may be perceived as a lack of surface allure will not hide the real merits of these performances.
John Sheppard

Previous reviews: Simon Thompson ~~ Karim Elmahmoudi

Masterwork Index: Saint-Saëns Symphony 3