SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

“L’Orgue monumental” = Peter Eilander, Cavaillé-Coll-Orgel St Sulpice, Paris – Works by Lefebure-Wely, Guilmant-Andriessen, de Pauw-Monnikendam, Van Weatering-Bijister – Motette

A fine recording of less well-known works.

Published on March 13, 2013

“L’Orgue monumental” = Peter Eilander, Cavaillé-Coll-Orgel St Sulpice, Paris – Works by LEFEBURE-WELY, GUILMANT-ANDRIESSEN, DE PAUW-MONNIKENDAM, VAN WEATERING-BIJISTER – Multichannel SACD (5.0) Motette 13604, 75:27 [Distr. by Albany] ****:

The Monumental Organ is an excellent recording in the beautiful acoustics of the St. Sulpice Cathedral in Paris. The program is mostly French works, with some Dutch composers writing in a French idiom. The works span the classical era, and end with a work from 1961. Organist Peter Eilander is well-known in Europe as a concert organist. He began playing church organs at the age of 10, and currently is organist at the Eben Haëzer Church of Appledoorn near Amsterdam.

This is not a collection of bombastic organ pieces, but rather some laid-back contemplative pieces. My favorites were the more contemporary of the offerings, particularly the Monnikendam (1896-1977) Sonata da Chiesa and Van Westerings (1911-1991) Méditation from 1965. The Médiation was my preferred track on the CD, with passionate and delicate playing and the lovely acoustics of the church providing a very satisfying listen.

The recording is not closely miked, which is appropriate for the venue. I got a real feel for the acoustics of the church from a position that seemed to be pretty far back from the organ pipes. I think this recording might have benefitted from being in 5.1, rather than 5.0. The deepest notes don’t really register on my Magnepan 3.6r speakers, so my subwoofer sat silent. But other setups might feed those lower frequencies from the five channels to the sub output.

All in all, this is a fine recording and performance of music that you are unlikely to hear otherwise.

—Mel Martin

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