Lovers of French late-Romantic organ music are well served by this disc made in 1987 when David Hill was in charge of the music at Westminster Cathedral and brilliantly revivified it. Vierne's Second Organ Symphony is a five-movement monster in cyclic form, where ideas recur from movement to movement. It's a fine example of the genre admired, apparently, by Debussy and showing the influence of Vierne's teachers Franck and Widor in spades. The filler is the slightly saccharine, though at times intriguingly chromatic, triptych (cf early Messiaen) Les angélus
of 1929 - settings for voice and organ. Shortish measure by today's standards at 50 minutes, some would say, but this is music, not baked beans.
© BBC Music Magazine 2000
Symphonie n°2 en mi mineur, op.20 - Les Angélus, op.57 (triptyque pour voix et orgue) / Gordon Jones, baryton - David Hill, orgue de la Cathédrale de Westminster