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4.1 out of 5 stars17
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 12 November 2012
As an Organist myself, I daresay this is the ONE AND ONLY CD that sort of opened my ears and BURST inside...

I mean:

- there's high grade HiFi equipment in my living room ( or else a pair of Professional BEYER Studio quality DT 990 Pro Headphones....but in that case...beware of your listening capabilities afterwards :-)) You might have to see a specialised surgeon !

- this seems to be the ONLY Cd recorded with the mighty Organ , not of a Concert Hall -as gorgeous as they may be....Eschenbach, etc -

but on myriad of pipes played by the late French (blind) organist Gaston LITAIZE

ON THE SPLENDID INSTRUMENT OF CHARTRES CATHEDRAL in France !!! .....

So that it first implied some tricks from the audio engineers , as I think Gaston Litaize was wearing headphones on the organ loft, in which he heard the orchestra !
But once diverse problems were solved out, you can understand an organ playing alongside with the recorded echo of a massive Cathedral like that one,

CAN'T BE COMPARED to the overall rendering of EVEN the MOST BEAUTIFUL organ inside the MOST BEAUTIFUL Concert Hall (in which the acoustics are designed to keep
any echo to a strict minimum...).

And as the recorded frequencies on that CD nearly extend DOWN to the lowest sounds one can draw from one or several 32foot Pedal Stops : just imagine the result !

Now, YES : if you play that record too loud, there's a REAL risk of being NO LONGER on speaking terms with your neighbours .....(lol)

Conclusion : other versions of Saint-Saens's Symphony ARE beautiful....but none will ever be equal to Barenboim and Litaize !

Incidentally, don't rely on me for breaking glasses or a window in the living room to make myself clear (lol, again...).

With my very best greetings from Southern France,

John.
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on 13 February 2015
This recording is the best version of Saint-Saens Organ Concerto I have ever heard. The organ in Chartres Cathedral is the reason, plus the talent of the recording engineers who made it happen. It fully justified the expenditure of a big outlay on superior audio equipment!

Barenboim and Gaston Litaize make for a superb partnership and full credit to BBC3's CD Review programme for bringing it to my attention.

Received it today in the post and can't stop playing it!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 March 2015
A bit of a disappointment this record, It was the BBC choice but for me there are two main areas of discontent.
The first is the sound. The orchestral playing is superb, there's no doubt of it, and the organ has that definite 'French'
sound to it. A harder and brighter sound than I have heard from British organs. The trouble is in the recording and the whole
recording lacks weight. It sounds to thin and lacking in bass, which is unusual in my room because it can normally make music
sound bass heavy so some thing has gone wrong with the digital remastering.
Secondly, I get the feeling that the whole thing doesn't gel. Possibly because the orchestra and the organ were not recorded in the same place?
Something is missing. the fruissance (shiver) just isn't there. Maybe its just me!
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on 2 March 2015
Heard it recommended by BBC Radio 3's 'Building a Library' and wasn't disappointed after buying the complete recording.

The link up between the mighty organ in Chartres and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is near flawless, and Barenboim takes the tempi at a pleasing lick, but not so fast as to make it a rush.

The remaster here is much improved on the original recording too, IMHO.

Can fully recommend!
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on 6 November 2015
Disappointed with production. The organ was awful both in quality and performance.
I do not recommend
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on 1 June 2014
Very exciting, fast and furious and the CHARTRES CATHEDRAL organ magnificent, just got the edge on the competition for me
Excellent service all round as always..
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on 18 May 2016
I am pleased to have this historic version in my collection. Performance outstanding. The sound reflects the time.
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There are some pieces that are a standard landmark in appreciating music on any level - and this is one of them. But once heard and put into the canon, you then rarely go back, you 'know it'. And then I heard this recording and understood just what a difference an individual performance can make to your understanding. This is truly great. It used the organ at Chartres Cathedral, and when it kicks in at the start of the third movement it lifts you off the floor. But even though if this as a blockbuster, beating you over the head, this performance (and recording) does more - it adds light and space and lets you experience the complexity, intricacy and beauty as well as the majesty. So much so that the big thrill isn't just a at the very start of the movement, or the great sweep of all that music, it's halfway through when the organ just thrusts into the music briefly. Not just thrilling, but deeply moving - an essence here which isn't just an adrenalin rush, but majestically beautiful, profound. A great beast with a heart, and a light that shines very brightly.
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on 13 April 2016
For me, still the best recording by far of the Saint-Saens 3rd Symphony
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on 17 April 2015
Decent value, quick delivery. Good recordings.
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