Michel Plasson made beautiful recordings in the analogue era of orchestral music by Chausson. So, I was very eager to hear this later digital recording of Franck. I was not disappointed. Plasson's orchestra does not have the huge sonority of some of the more famous orchestras to have recorded the piece. I have in mind recordings by Monteux/Chicago, Munch/Boston, and Ormandy/Philadelphia. Nevertheless, the playing of the Toulouse orchestra is very satisfying. It is beautifully turned, with elegant if not massive string playing. The woodwinds are especially delectable. Plasson's balances enable them to come through handsomely, and they play with a piquant French sound. Tempos are moderate--Plasson has great faith in the symphony's capacity to bewitch rather than just create excitement. The Symphonic Variations also receives a fine performance, as Collard deftly negotiates the piano part's thorny textures. The sound engineering on the disc is wide ranging and well balanced. This CD would grace anyone's collection of French music.