Willem Tanke plays these works like someone who has lived with and studied them intensively. These are brilliantly organically conceived interpretations by an interpreter that obviously has fully grasped their architecture. Listening to these again after listening to other performers (Ericsson, Latry) it feels like coming home: something is just so right about them. Throughout there are some flufs in the playing, but that seems to be the result of the decision to use as few takes as possible.
This makes it all the more unfortunate that the organ of the St. Bavo Cathedral, while clearly a gorgeous instrument (perhaps not in perfect shape), could have been recorded a lot better than it is here. The recorded sound is rather murky, lacks quite a bit of information at both ends of the spectrum, and gets completely cluttered with every fortissimo.
One final endearing thing about this recording: throughout the works one can regularly hear a blackbird warbling away just outside the church. Messiaen would have approved.