Magazine article Gramophone

Widor: 'The Organ Symphonies, Vol 3'

Magazine article Gramophone

Widor: 'The Organ Symphonies, Vol 3'

Article excerpt


'The Organ Symphonies, Vol 3'

Organ Symphonies, Op 13-No. 3; No. 4

Joseph Nolan org

Signum (F) SIGCD334 (65' * DDD)

Played on the Cavaille-Coll organ of La Madeleine, Paris

Wading through the assemblage of quotations and oblique references which constitute the booklet-notes for this latest release in Joseph Nolan's Widor series, we read that 'Widor's symphonies need no special pleading'. I beg to differ.

Few organists risk subjecting their public to complete performances of any Widor symphony, preferring to cherry-pick the crowd-pleasing movements (the first and the fifth from the Fifth and the first from the Sixth being by far and away the most popular). Indeed, some of Widor's non-organ music is better known and more widely performed than many of the organ symphonies. And while several have ventured to commit complete symphonies to disc, few have persuaded us that the venture is really worthwhile.

If anyone can plead the case for Widor's organ symphonies, that person has to be Joseph Nolan who, tackling here two of the more obscure examples (so obscure, in fact, that the booklet persistently gives the wrong opus number to No. …

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