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This release is intended as a calling card for the new titulaire of the last – and arguably greatest – œuvre of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, its brief playing time partially reflected by an RRP of €15. The gifted Jean-Baptiste Monnot studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Olivier Latry and Michel Bouvard and was then assistant to Jean Guillou at Saint-Eustache in Paris for 10 years. His highly conceptual programme places Bach’s Sei gegrüsset partita in the centre, surrounded by a pair of Monnot’s own luscious Scriabin transcriptions, topped and tailed by pieces associated with Guillou: his transcription of Liszt’s Prometheus to open, and the world premiere recording of the overture to his Macbeth, le lai de l’ombre at the conclusion. It’s nothing if not creative, and would be more intriguing still were it not for the performance of Sei gegrüsset, a curious choice in the context and played with a Guillou-like sense of whimsy (unrelated tempi, exaggerated articulation both long and short, registrations that seek extremes of contrast). The rest is more successful, Prometheus scintillating in its virtuosity, and the organ recorded atmospherically. If the eccentric booklet translations are indicative of the curious nature of the release, one can’t help but want to hear more of this partnership of instrument and player.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica


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