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I’m never convinced that the highly improvisatory L’orgue mystique survives the transition from its intended use in the liturgy to concert or even CD. Two suites are featured here, together with the vast Triple Choral op.41, Tournemire’s first significant organ work. Vincent Boucher, who enjoys a dual career in organ playing and investment banking, performs with a highly convincing sense of rhythmic freedom, colour and total interpretative conviction. The organ in the vast church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste was an important survivor of the early days of the Casavant company, when Claver and Samuel Casavant were developing their own fashionable ‘English’ style (leathered diapasons, Harrison-style ‘Harmonics’ mixtures, et al). Like its 1915 sibling at the Église Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus, it was rebuilt during the 1990s by the Casavant shop in an attempt to create the French symphonic soundworld its original builders had somehow missed. Its upperwork was substantially re-ordered (in order to create a ‘véritable plenum’), the reeds revoiced with new ‘Cavaillé-Coll-Cliquot’ style shallots. At the time, Casavant referred to a ‘restauration’, an impression continued by the present CD’s booklet, which makes no mention of the nature of the 1995 work.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing