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Widor, Vierne: Messes pour Chours et Orgues

Widor / Les Petits Chanteurs Du Mont-royal / Olden Release Date: 10/09/2015
Label: Atma Classique Catalog #: 2718 Spars Code: n/a
Composer:  Louis Vierne ,  Charles-Marie Widor Performer:  Jonathan Oldengarm ,  Vincent Boucher Conductor:  Gilbert Patenaude Number of Discs: 1
Recorded in: Stereo Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins.

If you associate Vierne and Widor just with solo organ works it may come as a surprise to discover they wrote a number of religious pieces for organ and choir as well. Granted, the latter may seem relatively obscure by comparison but they’re worth getting to know.

The choirs on this new album, so ably directed by Gilbert Patenaude, are both well established and well regarded. As for Vincent Boucher, appointed titular organist of St Joseph's Oratory in February 2015, this is his first recording in that role. The sanctuary's second organ is played here by Jonathan Oldengarm.

Vierne wrote his Messe solennelle for Saint-Sulpice, where it was premiered in December 1901. Scored for choir and two organs it follows the
Read more usual Mass format but – like Widor’s Op. 36 – it omits the Credo. I'm delighted to report that Gilbert Patenaude leads his musicians in a performance that’s both grand and intimate. They’re recorded in a warm, fairly reverberant acoustic with the voices atmospherically distant. As for St Joseph's newly restored 5,811-pipe Beckerath organ, it’s wonderfully robust, with a firm, rolling bass. The Kyrie, so cleanly articulated, is lovely and there’s a radiance to the singing that’s very impressive indeed.

Warmly communicative performances in very decent sound; well worth hearing.

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