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Cochereau, as a pupil of Dupré, brings unchallenged authority to his master’s works. a notable feature is his rhythmic discipline that carries paragraphs along in great sweeps of sound. Sometimes, it’s true, these sweeps are harmonically ambiguous thanks to the combination of mixtures and the Notre-Dame echo, but i especially enjoyed his way with the jokey dissonances of the Variations sur un vieux Noël and the wonderful breathlessness he achieves in the first movement of the Symphonie-Passion. he’s also wise in his choice of speeds: nothing drags, nothing is rushed or approximate.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of J. Thomas Mitts, whose speeds tend to be on the slow side (his first movement of the Symphonie-Passion comes out at 8:12 as opposed to Cochereau’s 5:48), while the Washington organ, not altogether surprisingly, can’t compete with the Cavaillé-Coll either for attack or for seductiveness. also, the recording is rather distant, the acoustics unhelpfully dry, and the jokiness of Vierne’s Intermezzo is distinctly modified.

ROGER NICHOLS Read the full review on Agora Classica

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