VIERNE, Vol. 2: Symphonie No. 3 in F Sharp minor; Symphonie No. 4 – Hans-Eberhard Ross, Goll-Organ of St. Martin, Memmingen – Audite

LOUIS VIERNE, Vol. 2: Symphonie No. 3 in F Sharp minor Op. 28; Symphonie No. 4 in g minor Op. 32 – Hans-Eberhard Ross, Goll-Organ of St. Martin, Memmingen – Audite multichannel SACD 92.675, 64:49 [Distr. by Naxos] [8/30/13]*****:

Somehow we missed getting the second of the three volumes of the six Vierne organ symphonies until now.  I think I covered things well in the two reviews we have already published.  Vol. 1 is Here, and Vol. 3 is Here. I suggest the reader see those two reviews.

I did notice two things I might have missed before: One is that Notre-Dame in Paris, for which Vierne composed his six organ symphonies, has a longer than four-second reverb and therefore sometimes covers up the complex counterpoint and various voices which Vierne uses in these works. The cathedral at Memmingen, on the other hand, has only a four-second reverb, which organist Ross says makes the musical details of the works easier to hear.

The second thing I noticed is that these recordings, made by Audite in 2012, only used a 44.1K sampling rate (the same as standard CDs), but with a 24-bit word length instead of the usual 16-bit. This achieved a much improved sonic for the recordings, though not as good as a higher sampling rate might have. My personal preference for pipe organ recordings is a true binaural recording, heard via good headphones, but Audite’s multichannel surround is very good.

—John Sunier

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