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This two-disc compilation of the recordings of the great blind organist André Marchal presents a revealing picture of the performer on landmark Parisian instruments. The playing is not without some untidiness, but the interpretations make up for that. The instruments include Saint-Gervais (Couperin), Saint-Eustache (Alain) and Notre-Dame (Tournemire). The organ in Studio 104 at Maison Radio-France features in Grigny and Vierne and represents the best-quality of the recordings, many of which are poor by comparison and often recorded in mono, dating from 1954 to 1975. Of interest, too, are six brief improvisations, which reveal the neoclassical soundworld that his musical mind inhabited. Informative sleeve notes and photographs accompany this insightful hommage.

MATTHEW POWER Read the full review on Agora Classica


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