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The background story to this CD is perhaps its most interesting facet. Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony no.10 is coupled with another organ symphony by a Swedish contemporary, Otto Olsson. This latter work, composed in 1925 and entitled Credo Symphoniacum, is, like Widor’s ‘Romane’, largely based on Gregorian chant. A further link is provided by Albert Schweitzer, whose work with Widor, not least on editing the organ works of Bach, is well known. In addition, Schweitzer was a close friend of the dedicatee of Olsson’s symphony and played and admired the 1950 Kuhn organ in St Maurice on which this recording was made. Octogenarian Georges Athanasiadès, organist of this interesting piece of post-romantic organ building since it was new and who apparently remembers Schweitzer’s visit, provides a compelling, lithe, performance of Widor’s ‘Romane’. Olsson’s fragmentary 44-minute work is a much tougher listen and the comparison between the works, while interesting, primarily reminds the listener why Widor’s masterpiece is so much more admired than Olsson’s magnum opus.

CHRISS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing