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Yves Ramette was a pupil of Honegger, a prolific composer and a teacher of organ and counterpoint at the Schola Cantorum; he was also organist of the church of Saint-Ferdinand des Ternes, where these recordings were made over a 30-year period, stretching from 1965-93. From this perspective, the recording is also an historic one: the late Cavaillé-Coll organ (1898), clearly labouring from the results of its ungracious rebuilding by Beuchet Debierre in 1963, has since been replaced. Ramette’s music is fascinating and worthy of greater exposure. Highly rhetorical with extended use of monophony and silence, these are dark works which require a highly virtuosic player. Fortunately, Ramette was exactly that. Among the most interesting pieces, the Toccata et Fugue in Memoriam Georges Guynemer recalls the exploits and bravery of a first world war airman. The Concerto from the Diptych Solum in Modum is perhaps the most engaging work; its sheer length (20 minutes, largely repetitive), like some of the other pieces recorded here, may explain Ramette’s relative neglect. There is little information in the booklet, but rather more (including the scores, either whole or in part) on an accompanying website. This is well worth investigating.

CHRISS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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