To me, there is something especially appealing about French organ music, and two of my favourite composers for the `king of instruments` are well represented here, Alexandre Guilmant and the wonderful Louis Vierne.
This 76-minute reissue from the enterprising bargain label Regis, was originally recorded in 1982 on the Grand Organ of the Cathedrale St Pierre at Beauvais, NW of Paris, by veteran Jennifer Bate. Boellmann`s aptly named Suite Gothique gets things off to a stirring start, before the subtler shadings of Guilmant`s Cantilene Pastorale lower the temperature. Like all the pieces here, this is beautifully recorded, and a gentler piece such as the Cantilene comes across as lucidly as the more obviously powerful works on this superb disc.
Vierne is a composer I am always happy to find in any organ recital, and he is represented here by 18 minutes worth of glorious music, from his haunting Clair De Lune to the insistent Carillon De Longpont, based on the tolling of bells, hence its title.
The rest of this fulsome disc is just as delightful, Bate being quite obviously a stunning musician in total command of her mighty instrument. (It seems almost an understatement to call such an organ a mere `instrument`.)
I do not own very much organ music, and know next to nothing about its intricacies, but I know a fine recording when I hear one, and I recognise terrific music when I hear it.
This is both.