Volume 2 in a new collection of Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphonies, performed by Joseph Nolan on the magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ of L’église de la Madeleine, Paris.
Bridging the generations from Mendelssohn to Messiaen, Empire to Republic, Widor was born to the organ. His Lyonnaise kinsfolk were organ-builders, he showed early talent for the instrument, and for decades was the embodiment of its might and splendour across the Gallic domain – his ‘Organ Symphonies’ were genre-defining in their influence.
Joseph Nolan is an internationally renowned organist, acclaimed as ‘brilliant and such an astute musician’ (Gramophone UK). He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace in 2004, and has since been invited to perform and record in some of the world’s premiere venues – including the refurbished Organ of Buckingham Palace Ballroom (SIGCD114) and the Organ of Saint-Sulpice in Paris (SIGCD167). The Cavaillé-Coll Organ of La Madeleine, Paris is a similarly renowned instrument, with former chief-organists including Camille Saint-Säens and Gabriel Fauré.
The recording clarity is remarkable, only final chords revealing that we have been enjoying the fruits of some six seconds of reverberation. Joseph Nolan … is an utterly persuasive executant at the console. Thoroughly enjoyable – Organists Review
Just consider the wonderful contrast as Joseph Nolan moves from the gentle, floating phrases of the Allegretto to the skittish playfulness and power of the Intermezzo. The Marche pontificale (like the Toccata from the 5th symphony) is certainly more familiar and here given a rousing, full-blooded romp which fires the blood – Lark Reviews
This looks like shaping up to be the Widor Organ Symphonies cycle of the decade – MusicWeb International