The producer and balance engineer of this recording, Martha de Francisco, has the opportunity to talk about the surround sound recording on a page of the note booklet. She was enthusiastic about recording in the cathedral because the Gothic structure is over 90 meters in length and has a reverberation time of about seven seconds. Both instruments naturally work beautifully with such an acoustic and most of the compositions have in mind the extended reverberation in most of the performance spaces where a pipe organ would be located. It was decided to employ the five-channel DSD surround master as the source for both the stereo SACD and the standard CD mixdown.
The French school of organists in the 20th century, led by Olivier Messiaen, explored the duo of trumpet and organ in depth, often getting into quite adventurous musical areas which strained liturgical orthodoxy. Most of these composers are French and each has a different approach to the combination of trumpet and pipe organ. Constant’s opening piece is based on one of the oldest surviving music forms but uses modern tonalities and has a violent climax. Jolivet’s entry uses polytonal glissandi and is highly chromatic. Erik Satie’s little march about a rediscovered statue lasts just a bit over a minute, and Damase’ Three Prayers are tuneful love songs for trumpet and organ. Hakim’s Sonata is quite a contrast to the other rather prayerful works. It brings in jazz and other exotic influences for a catchy and lighthearted feeling. While without words it may not be exactly a prayer, but it provides a smashing conclusion to this program so suitable for hi-res surround display!
– John Sunier