Magazine article Gramophone

Widor: Bach's Memento

Magazine article Gramophone

Widor: Bach's Memento

Article excerpt

Widor

Bach's Memento (a). Conte d'Avril--No 6, Marche nuptial (b). Marche americaine (b). Trois Nouvelles pieces, Op 87 (a). Suite Latine (a)

Joseph Nolan org

Signum (B) (2) SICGD438 (83' * DDD)

Played on the Cavaille-Coll organs of (b) St Francois de Sales, Lyon, and (a) Saint-Sernin, Toulouse

As a postscript to his recordings of the complete symphonies, Joseph Nolan has mopped up the last crumbs of Widor's solo organ output for these two discs. He actually goes further. In addition to the three works all written after the symphonies and recorded here on the famous Cavaille-Coll of Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, he includes two transcriptions recorded on the Cavaille-Coll of St Francois de Sales, Lyon.

It is tempting to regard Widor's solo organ works as afterthoughts for the symphonies. Yet the six movements of Suite Latine possesses a clear sense of coherence. Three of them make use of Gregorian chants, but unity is created more by a clear progression from the introverted 'Praeludium' to the extrovert 'Lauda Sion' and by music which is less concerned with organ colour than 'spiritualised sentiment', to quote Marcel Dupre. There is an abundance of trills--especially in the fourth movement ('Ave maris stella')--which Joseph Nolan delicately executes but which too often find themselves competing against uncomfortably prominent action noise.

Widor's very last organ work was the Nouvelles pieces of 1934. …

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