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James Goldrick

The Five Organ Recordings You Couldn't Live Without.

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I wouldn't be surprised if a similar 'Desert Island Discs' sort of topic is buried somewhere in the Mander Discussion archives, but why not start a fresh one?

 

Two of my choices are organ with ensemble, so it's definitely not restricted to solo works.

I'm specifying single recordings rather than entire CD's or LP's, unless of course it is a major work like Durufle's Requiem or Messiaen's Nativite.

 

So here's my Top Five:

 

(1) Karl Richter

Bach - Dorian Toccata and Fugue in Dm Bwv 538

Freiburger Dom - Silbermann Hauptorgel

 

(2) Michael Dudman

Langlais - Concerto No.3 'Reaction' for organ, strings and timpani.

Sydney Town Hall - Hill and Son Grand Organ

(Sydney Symphony, Patrick Thomas cond.)

 

(3) Pierre Cochereau

Chant - Te Deum (in alternatim)

Notre-Dame-de-Paris - Grand Orgue Cavaillé-Coll

(Choir of NDdP, Jehan Revert dir.)

 

(4) Charles Tournemire

Improvisation on 'Victimae Paschali Laudes'

Sainte Clotilde, Paris - Grand Orgue Cavaillé-Coll

 

(5) Piet Kee

Walther - Partita on 'Jesu Meine Freude'

Weingarten Basilica - Gabler Hauptorgel

 

 

Looking forward to further contributions

 

Cheers

 

James Goldrick

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-S-S Wesley choral music with Donald Hunt at Worcester

 

-The Saint-Saëns "Messe à quatre voix" by the same, same place

 

-Liszt and Reuble by Simon Preston at Westminster

 

-Mendelssohn by Felix Hell at Methuen

 

-Reger by Gerd Zacher at Essen-Werden

Ex-aequo: de Grigny by Anne Dubar at Sens Cathedral

 

Pierre

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Koopman - Bach Trios

 

No need for any other CD. If anyone knows of any better recording of the Trios, then I'd be interested to know, but this is the one I happen to have...

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My wife gave me the Simon Preston complete JSB organ works for my birthday - all 14 cds - I'd better take those to Mars or wherever. Exciting stuff!!

 

AJJ

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Hmm, difficult ...

 

- Pierre Cochereau L'Organiste de NotreDame anyway (though disc3 fwith PC going through the roof in the final on Haec Dies would suffice alone)

 

- Andre Isoir's playing of Grigny/Marchand in St.Maximin

 

- Louis Thiry playing Messiaen (definitely Banquette Celeste)

 

But there will be more music than just organmusic in my suitecase ..

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Hmm, difficult ...

 

- Pierre Cochereau L'Organiste de NotreDame anyway (though disc3 fwith PC going through the roof in the final on Haec Dies would suffice alone)

 

-

 

Oh yes - definitely.

 

Even better, in my view, is the first track on the third disc: Sortie (Messe de 11h30) 1er décembre 1968 - and this before the chamades were added, too!

 

B)

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I agree, this is difficult, but my choices today are the recordings that first got me hooked:

(In random order)

Widor Symphonie Gothique, Marcel Dupré, St Sulpice

Vierne Symphonies, Pierre Cochereau, ND Paris

Franck Chorals, Fernando Germani, Selby Abbey

Complete Bach, original Archiv recordings, Helmut Walcha

 

and just to throw in something less predictable:

Alain, Duruflé etc, St Etienne du Mont, Vincent Warnier

 

To my ears, a young genius at work.

 

JC

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I wouldn't be surprised if a similar 'Desert Island Discs' sort of topic is buried somewhere in the Mander Discussion archives, but why not start a fresh one?

 

Two of my choices are organ with ensemble, so it's definitely not restricted to solo works.

I'm specifying single recordings rather than entire CD's or LP's, unless of course it is a major work like Durufle's Requiem or Messiaen's Nativite.

 

So here's my Top Five:

 

 

 

(4) Charles Tournemire

Improvisation on 'Victimae Paschali Laudes'

Sainte Clotilde, Paris - Grand Orgue Cavaillé-Coll

 

 

 

Cheers

 

James Goldrick

 

 

Hello Mr Goldrick

 

Tournemire. ? !

 

I heard a good joke the other day.

 

What is the definition of a gentleman ?

An Organist who can play Tournemire but doesn't.

 

Regards

Michael

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(1) Reading Town Hall, Catherine Ennis's LP of largely French music - I don't so much like the programme on Adrian Partington's Priory CD, though that's after the organ was restored.

 

(2) Hindemith Organ Sonatas, Lionel Rogg at Zurich Grossmunster (LP). The CD recordings I have don't match it.

 

(3) Bach played by Robert Clark at Naumburg. 'Nuf said.

 

(4) Grove Organ, Tewkesbury Abbey played by Francis Jackson - cassette of the reopening recital after its rebuild.

 

(5) "An Organ for an Organ Scholar"; a mono LP of Cecil Clutton's house organ, showing what can done with ten stops.

 

(6) My own private recording (with permission) of a concert I sang in at Exeter College Oxford chapel; Widor and Langlais masses with organ - yummy; in ambisonic surround too :( .

 

Oh, that's reached six; and so many more to go - ah well... Reading and Tewkesbury (Grove) deserve more attention than they get, I think.

 

Paul

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I nearly started a desert island discs thread of my own a while back, but desisted because none of my top 10 featured the organ - not as a solo instrument anyway.

 

The sad fact is, there is no organ recording I couldn't live without. However, if I was to be marooned and was given the choice between 5 organ recordings or nothing at all, I would choose:

 

1) Bach at Naumburg (Robert Clark)

 

2) Complete Duruflé (Oliver Latry). Not quite complete, actually, but never mind.

 

3) Complete Alain (Marie-Clarie Alain)

 

4) Poulenc Organ Concerto (Maurice Duruflé). Yes I know the ensemble is rocky in places (it would have helped if the orchestra had been in the same building as the organ), but it's still to my mind the definitive interpretation.

 

5) John Porter playing Campbell, Harris and others at St George's, Windsor. The programme is slight, but Porter explores this chameleonic organ to the full, his playing is dazzling and his interpretations of Campbell's pieces are definitive. Reissued by Priory in vol.1 of their LP Archive Series.

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The sad fact is, there is no organ recording I couldn't live without. However, if I was to be marooned and was given the choice between 5 organ recordings or nothing at all, I would choose:

 

3) Complete Alain (Marie-Clarie Alain)

 

I'm interested to know which complete Alain would be your preference? I favour the earlier recordings at Saint Christophe, Belfort over the later collection performed on the instruments that Jehan Alain would have known. But referring back to my earlier post, Vincent Warnier's performances of Alain are stunning.

 

I certainly agree with your first point, organ CDs would only have a token appearance in my top five.

 

JC

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Oh yes - definitely.

 

Even better, in my view, is the first track on the third disc: Sortie (Messe de 11h30) 1er décembre 1968 - and this before the chamades were added, too!

 

:(

 

 

Yep, superb playing (sound is not so good though) - anybody else thinks he can improvise a sortie?

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I'm interested to know which complete Alain would be your preference? I favour the earlier recordings at Saint Christophe, Belfort over the later collection performed on the instruments that Jehan Alain would have known. But referring back to my earlier post, Vincent Warnier's performances of Alain are stunning.

Yes, the Ste-Christophe recordings were the ones I had in mind. Absolutely superb in my view. I don't know the other ones you mention, so can't comment on those. I have Bowyer's set recorded at Tonbridge, but I'm afraid I find it very uninspiring and never listen to it - I think the problem is more the organ than the playing.

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Interesting question! Let's see ... not in any particular order

  • Bairstow's Sonata played by Francis Jackson at York Minster (David Wylde's recording).
     
  • Messiaen "L'Ascension" played by Jennifer Bate at Beauvais.
     
  • Clavierubung III played by Peter Hurford. Especially the 5-part Kyrie Gott Heliger Geist.
     
  • Marchand, Premier Livre d'Orgue played by Arthur Wills at Ely Cathedral.
     
  • Tournemire "Victimae Paschali" played by Jane Parker-Smith at Blackburn Cathedral.

Hmmm .. must get the turntable repaired so I can listen to the LP's again.

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Gillian Weir - Scherzo

 

David Briggs - Sounds French (Blackburn)

 

Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (well, it's got a Hammond on it)

 

Hurford Bach, the trio sonatas

 

Allcoat improvisation masterclass disc 1 - "back to basics" when I try and get too complicated and get everything wrong.

 

And, Kirsty, if the waves came crashing to the shore and I had to rush off and save one, it would be The Dame.

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What a very difficult question.

 

Five isn't very many, unless it was 5 albums.

 

A Desert Island would require some sense of balance I think, so I wouldn't just go for classical organ.

 

So it would have to go something like this:-

 

1. St Matthews Passion - Bach (pref a German recording of same - Thomaskirche or perhaps Latvian Radio Choir)

 

2. 6 Trio Sonatas- Bach - Marie Claire-Alain

 

3. Organ Stop Pizza Restaurant Wurlitzer or possibly Lynn Larsen at the Sanfilippo Residence Wurlitzer

 

4. Beethoven Piano Concerti or Symphonies

 

5. Complete Mozart delivered to a palm-tree near me

 

But then I would miss my Elton John/Scissors Sisters/Lionel Ritchie/Barry Manilow/Gershwin/Jim Riggs/ Simon Gledhill/Bert Bacharac/ Nat King Cole/ Whitney Houston/ Harry Stoneham/ Ella Fitzgerald/ Supertramp (etc etc) recordings too much to stay sane for very long.

 

I really couldn't live without musical balance in my life, even if I haven't put anything French on the list!

 

MM

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I'm not sure there's an organ recording out there that I couldn't live without ... but otherwise:

 

Reubke: Sonata on the 94th Psalm (Simon Preston, Westminster Abbey, DG)

It's a toss-up between this and the Liszt 'Ad nos', but I think the Reubke is the finer work.

 

Dupre: Symphony No. 2 (Nicolas Kynaston, Westminster Cathedral, Mitra)

A fabulous recording of this hard to record instrument, and playing that defies belief.

 

Organ Spectacular (Huw Williams, St Paul's Cathedral, Guild)

Trying to record the St Paul's organ for domestic listening is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. This recording seems to do the trick, for once, with the mics clearly focusing on the Chancel Organ, but you are always aware of the big guns up in the Dome. Huw Williams playing is superb and I find myself constantly reaching for this new CD to play again.

 

The Wonderful Willis (David Halls, Salisbury Cathedral, VIF Records)

David Halls knows this organ better than most, and you can tell in this wonderful CD, from the opening Cook Fanfare to the rousing Healey Willan IP&F that closes it. The tubas have never been better recorded and there's a work on the disc by my uncle, Peter Witchell, so that clinches it! :lol:

 

Alfred Hollins Concert Overtures (Malcolm Archer, Norwich Cathedral, Meridian)

Back in the mid-1980s, having been given a personal demonstration of the Norwich organ by Mr Archer himself, I bought this 45rpm LP in the Cathedral Shop. Superb rhythmic playing allied to a wonderful recording of the Norwich organ makes this a winner, and for a small fee Meridian very kindly burned a CD for me after the LP had had its day. What more can one ask for?

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Guest Roffensis

Allan Wicks

 

EMI CSD 3657 Great Cathedral Organ Series

 

Canterbury Cathedral.

 

Without any hesitation!!

 

R

 

 

Oh yes, and indeed, Pet Sounds/Beach Boys. Pure magic.

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• Roger Sayer at the Klais organ of the Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik (Great European Organs No. 45)

• Complete Duruflé by Latry (Saint-Etienne-du-Mont)

• Buxtehude, Vogel's vol. 7 (Hamburg)

• Bach Passacaglia etc. by Germani at the RFH (since there has to be some Bach on the desert island, and I cannot decide on the recording, I just take the one with the most beautiful playing)

• Reger variations by Donald Joyce (Norwich Cath.)

 

Hard choice, though. I wish I could take Latry's Messiaen as well (finally the time to listen through it on that island!), some Orgelbuechlein recording (not MCA), a complete Jehan Alain set ...

 

There was absolutely no doubt about the first two on my list, however.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (well, it's got a Hammond on it)

 

So has A Whiter Shade of Pale.

 

I'd definitely take TT's Messe de la Pentecote (although I have heard that TT himself is not a huge fan of Messiaen).

 

Langlais' own recording of his Incantation pour un Jour Saint;

 

The Bach would probably be the old Weinrich recoding on MFP I wrote about a couple on months ago - for sentimental reasons really.

 

Spyrogyra Roads Scholars (some organ sounds on it)

 

Some Cabezon &c played on authentic Spanish organs (once again sentimental as well as musical reasons - I lived in Spain for a few years).

 

Buit frankly I'm glad not to have to make such a choice because whatever I don't take will be the first one I want to hear when I get there!

 

P

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I've only just caught up with this thread and I see some interesting discs included. I always find that the latest CD I've bought is my favourite, new I suppose. My latest is vol 5 of Buxtehude played by Bine Bryndorf at St. Jacobi, Hamburg and that is a must. The previous 4 volumes are played at churches associated with Buxtehude and, to me, are a definitive set (I think there must be one more to come). I'd be interested to hear other's comments on them. Bach at Naumburg by Robert Clark, yes, a knock out. I see others have mentioned Vincent Warnier at St Etienne du Mont, great stuff, very enjoyable but then I find anything played on that organ by someone who knows it is listenable at any time. The Reubke - Roger Fisher at Chester, either 1970 or 2004 versions, but I'm Chester based and probably biased.

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... However, if I was to be marooned and was given the choice between 5 organ recordings or nothing at all, I would choose:

 

......

4) Poulenc Organ Concerto (Maurice Duruflé). Yes I know the ensemble is rocky in places (it would have helped if the orchestra had been in the same building as the organ), but it's still to my mind the definitive interpretation.

 

5) John Porter playing Campbell, Harris and others at St George's, Windsor. The programme is slight, but Porter explores this chameleonic organ to the full, his playing is dazzling and his interpretations of Campbell's pieces are definitive. Reissued by Priory in vol.1 of their LP Archive Series.

 

I agree about the Poulenc. Those who treasure the Duruflé/Prêtre recording should ensure that they have the 2003 remastered version in EMI's Great Recordings of the Century series; it's coupled with two other keyboard concertos. Compare it to an older LP-CD transfer, and you'll notice the difference in the sound.

 

John Porter is, to my mind, a much missed player. Having heard him live and in broadcasts, the elan in his playing was unmistakeable.

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I thought that the Poulenc Prete/Duruflé WAS recorded in St Etienne du Mont ? I seem to remember seeing the LP cover that included a photograph of the strings & timps set up in the church. I only have the 1987 remastered EMI cd now. Am I going mad or can someone answer this definitively ?

 

H

 

Ha ! Just noticed in the very small print at the back of the Poulenc booklet...

 

Recorded : 21 & 23 Feb 1961 Église Saint-Étienne du Mont

 

Anyone disagree ?

 

H

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