Magazine article The American Organist

Louis Vierne: The Symphonies

Magazine article The American Organist

Louis Vierne: The Symphonies

Article excerpt

LOUIS VIERNE: THE SYMPHONIES. Kees Geluk, Bert den Hertog, and Eric Quist, organists. Organs of Notre-Dame, Laeken, Belgium (III/66; Pierre Schyven & Cie, 1874; Salomon van Bever, 1906/1912; Patrick Collón, 1975-78) and the Dominicans Church, Brussels, Belgium (III/46; Solomon van Bever, 1910; Delmotte Organ Building, 1957). D.E. Versluis DEV-VIlOlO. www. deversluis.nl; info@deversluis.nl. The prospect of recording the complete organ symphonies of Vierne is a daunting one, even for the most intrepid of performers. Divvying up the project between three musicians seems a felicitous solution, given the extraordinary skill and musicianship of the three fine young Dutch organists featured here. Each, barely in his 30s, performs with authority, authenticity, and personality.

The six Vierne Symphonies may be divided into "early" (Nos. 1-3) and "late" (Nos. 4-6). Each organist performs one from each category, Kees Geluk choosing Symphonies 1 and 5, Eric Quist Nos. 2 and 4, and Bert den Hertog Nos. 3 and 6. While the players all possess the requisite technical and musical skill and understanding to offer exemplary performances, each has unique personal interpretive qualities. Kees Geluk's performances are characterized by their vigor, energy, and excitement, tempered by sensitivity in the many brooding passages. The cavernous acoustic of Notre-Dame, where he performs, sometimes obfuscates the details in the music, as in the Fugue and Final of Symphony No. 1. There is an occasional split note in the treacherous leaps of the Scherzo in Symphony No. …

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