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La dolce volta continue their series of well-mastered and beautifully presented box sets of archive recordings with a re-release of Louis Thiry’s award-winning 1972 recording of the complete organ works of Messiaen (or at least those published at the time). With the relatively new neo-baroque Metzler organ at Saint-Pierre, Geneva, this was ground-breaking stuffboth in terms of the virtuosic playing of Thiry and the first stereo recording of Messiaen’s work. Yes, it may not be as accurate and aurally atmospheric as more recent complete recordings (e.g. Olivier Latry or Gillian Weir), and does not include the last two major organ cycles, but it does stand up to modern scrutiny. There is a poetic understanding of the music from one of the great virtuosi of his time who worked closely with Messiaen on this music – a musical record worthy of such a well-presented re-release.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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