9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
THE definitive recording of the Saint-Saens 'Organ' symphony,
This review is from: Saint-Saens - Symphony No. 3 'Organ'/Poulenc - Organ Concerto/Barber - Toccata Festiva (Audio CD)
This live recording, featuring the largest concert hall organ in the United States, and the resident organist of Notre Dame, Paris, was recommended in the BBC Radio 3 programme 'Building a library' earlier this year. It did sound quite good on the stereo radio.
Christoph Eschenbach's pace is more leisurely than some of the available recordings, and the organ entry in the final movement continues this pace. But WHAT an entry! The power behind this organ is almost unbelievable, and (sadly) eclipses the Klais organ in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, where I have heard this performance live. I can only imagine the reaction of the audience in Verizon Hall at the end of the concert; the applause has obviously been muted, but adds to the magnificence of the recording. I do have both the Simon Preston (BPO / James Levine) and the Peter Hurford (OSM / Charles Dutoit) recordings, but this much newer recording is in a completely different class. Eschenbach, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Olivier Latry are to be congratulated on what for me is now the finest CD in my collection of some 400, and the BBC WERE right to choose this recording.
As a final comment, the live recording does NOT detract from the performance, and indeed has not had the editing (sometimes poorly) of a few of the other available recordings! In one word, BRILLIANT!