Vincent Dubois Plays the Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris – MOZART: Fantasie in F Minor, K.608; LISZT: Evocation a la Chapelle Sixtine; RACHMANINOFF-VIERNE: Prelude in C-sharp Minor; MAURICE DURUFLE: Suite, Op. 5; VINCENT DUBOIS: Free improvisation – JAV Recordings multichannel SACD JAV 166, 69:06 ****:
Another excellent pipe organ recital from the label of former Wall Street stockbroker Joe Vitacco. It combines a program that is off the usual beaten track, with a magnificent instrument that has been beautifully restored and maintained, performed on my one of the world’s leading young concert organists in thrilling hi-res 5.0 sound, and accompanied by a detailed 32-page booklet including photos of the recording session, an interview with the expert who has maintained the organ, and the complete specification of the pipes and registrations.
Perhaps the standout oddity here is Louis Verne’s transcription of Rachmaninoff’s famous Prelude in C-sharp Minor. The transcription, made in 1932, works very well and in fact sounds less corny than the piano original. Duruflé – who lived until 1986 – did not write many works. His three-movement suite is dedicated to Paul Dukas and opens with a serious Prelude. The second movement Sicilienne, is dance like and quite impressionistic, making use of the wide variety of tonal colors the Cavaillé-Coll organ can provide. The closing Toccata is a tumultuous work, sometimes used as a stand-alone postlude. The Mozart Fantasie which opens the recital is quite different from the work of the same name we sometimes hear on the piano. It was originally composed for a mechanical flute clock and later adapted for pipe organ by Mozart. It is extremely expressive and strikes one as unusual to hear Mozart on a huge French symphonic pipe organ such as this one, although it seems to fit perfectly.
– John Sunier