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If Frederick Hohman’s otherwise substantial compendium doesn’t encompass, as the cover proclaims, all ten of Widor’s organ symphonies – nos. 3, 8 and 10 conspicuously absent – it at least substantiates its title with a well-chosen assembly of movements that offer a relishable mix of intense poetry, vivid coloration and high drama. ‘Soar above’ was the composer’s own assertion that publication of his organ symphonies signified a turning point in French organ literature. Hohman, who also provides excellent and extensive notes, makes full use of a robust 7,310-pipe, 108-stop Casavant-Schantz instrument to corroborate Widor’s claim in nuanced and vividly characterised performances.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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