One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

To gain a 10% discount, use the link below & the code MusicWeb10

Jacques BOYVIN (c.1649-1706)
Suites from the Premier and Second Livres d’Orgue
French Organ Music from The Golden Age, Volume 6
Details after review
David Ponsford (Organ of Saint-Michel, Bolbec)
rec. 2017, Saint-Michel, Bolbec
Organ specification and registration for each piece included
Reviewed as lossless (wav) press preview.
NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6358 [79:00 + 78:20]

These two CDs offer an almost complete recording of Boyvin’s two books of organ works.  An earlier and even more complete recording, on two separate 2-CD sets, from Michel Chapuis, is now download only (Plenum Vox PV011 and 012), which makes this latest addition to the Nimbus Alliance series of recordings of Golden Age French organ music timely.  There’s always a suspicion that a particular composer may be less well-known deservedly but, on the basis of this recording, that’s assuredly not the case with Boyvin.

Earlier volumes in the series have offered both familiar and unfamiliar music, sometimes combined, as on NI6213, where Couperin’s relatively well-known Messe pour les couvents is paired, not as often with the Messe pour les paroisses, but with the organ music of Pierre DuMage – review.

As recently as January 2018, Johan van Veen was praising David Ponsford’s performances of the organ music of Nicolas de Grigny, albeit with some reservations about the accompanying chant (Volume 5, NI6342 – review).  In reviewing Volume 4, he had no such reservations (NI6292 – review).  Unfortunately, this sixth volume marks the end of the series.

Fortunately, there are no vocals on the Boyvin recordings to complicate the issue, just persuasive playing of the music by a scholarly performer, on an instrument of the period.  I’m almost as much impressed by the booklet notes on the organ – by Pierre Dubois – and the music – by David Ponsford – as I am by the performances.  We have always been able to rely on Hyperion for presentation of this quality and latterly on Toccata Classics, but this Nimbus Alliance release is equally informative and readable.

As on the earlier volumes, the focus of the recording is almost as much on the organ as on the music and a detailed history of how the four-manual Bolbec instrument came to be in its present condition is included in the booklet.  Though purchased as late as 1791, it had come from another church and though rebuilds would have taken it away from its original state, including additions from Cavaillé-Col, recent work has seen it restored to something like the state it was in when purchased, with a pitch of A=400Hz and unequal temperament after Sauveur (1702).

Organists will be pleased to find not only the specification of the organ but also the chosen registration for each track.  The rest of us can be content in the knowledge that the organ makes a good match for Boyvin’s music and that everything about these performances sounds right.  Comparison with a recording of three of Boyvin's Suites, performed by Bruno Morin on a single CD (Triton TRI331108 - streamed from Naxos Music Library) was largely in Ponsford’s favour, though Morin’s recording would make a good shorter introduction to the composer.

This new release should help to establish the organ music of Boyvin in the repertoire, with excellent performances on an appropriate instrument, well recorded and with informative notes.  A very fine conclusion to a distinguished series.

I understand from Nimbus that David Ponsford will be expanding his project and another recording will be made in June 2018. This will explore the music of Louis Marchand (1669-1732). That is good news indeed.

Brian Wilson

Premier livre d’orgue contenant les huit tons (1690)
Suite 1: Premier ton [18:17]
Suite 2: Second ton [16:42]
Suite 5: Cinquième ton [15:10]
Suite 6: Sixième ton [15:29]
Suite 7: Septième ton [13:22] 
Suite 8: Huitième ton [13:35]
Second livre d’orgue contenant les huit tons (1700)
Suite 1: Premier ton [14:22]
Suite 3: Troisième ton [14:46]
Suite 4: Quatrième ton [14:38]
Suite 5: Cinquième ton [20:59]



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger