Saint-Saëns: Organ Music Vol 3 – review

Andrew-John Smith (organ)

Andrew-John Smith returns to Camille Saint-Saëns's great 1846 Caviallé-Coll organ at La Madeleine in Paris, this time introducing us to the charmingly tuneful Rhapsodies sur des cantiques bretons, written after hearing a boat captain play folk tunes on a rustic oboe in Brittany while on a trip to cheer up a disconsolate Fauré. And there's more charm in the little O salutaris hostia, a lovely tune with delightfully cooing accompaniment on the woodwind stops. The mighty Fantasie pour orgue-Aeolian, complete with tubular bells, written for the new American Aeolian organ in 1906, sounds epic on this vast, brooding instrument, so splendidly tamed by the dextrous Smith.


Stephen Pritchard

The GuardianTramp

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