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Fairs: Duruflé – Organ Music, Complete (APE)

Duruflé: Organ Music, Complete (APE)
Duruflé: Organ Music, Complete (APE)

Performer: Henry Fairs
Composer: Maurice Durufle
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Naxos
Size: 269 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Fugue sur le theme du Carillon des Heures de la Cathedrale de Soissons, Op. 12
02. Prelude, adagio et choral varie sur le Veni Creator, Op. 4: Prelude
03. Prelude, adagio et choral varie sur le Veni Creator, Op. 4: Adagio
04. Prelude, adagio et choral varie sur le Veni Creator, Op. 4: Choral varie
05. Prelude sur l’introit de l’Epiphanie, Op. 13
06. Scherzo, Op. 2
07. Prelude et fugue sur le nom d’Alain, Op. 7 : Prelude
08. Prelude et fugue sur le nom d’Alain, Op. 7 : Fugue
09. Meditation, Op. posth.
10. Chant Donne – Hommage a Jean Gallon
11. Suite, Op. 5 : I. Prelude
12. Suite, Op. 5 : II. Sicilienne
13. Suite, Op. 5 : III. Toccata

Really deserves a much better rating than 3* only!

I recently acquired this CD because of a love for Durufle’s music – I’m not a huge fan of listening to the organ, and this composer is from the 20th century, so this is not Baroque organ, like Bach et al. My main reason for posting is to increase the average rating for this recording, which is justly deserved. I really cannot understand the ‘out of tune’ comment made by the earlier reviewer – this is a ‘famous’ organ in the Church of Notre-Dame d’ Auteuil, Paris – just can’t believe that it is not kept in top-nocth shape nor that Henry Fairs, the organist, would not have noticed?

For those wanting more professional comments on this disc, visit the Naxos web site, locate this CD, and click on reviews – below, I’ve just taken some ‘highlights’ for those who may be interested:

“Fairs is Organist at the University of Birmingham and tutor at the Birmingham Conservatory. His teachers include Thierry Mechler, David Sanger, and Susan Landale. The program was recorded on the 3-72 Cavaille-Coll/ Debierre (1885/1938) in Notre-Dame d’Auteuil, where Frederic Blanc is organist. The instrument is gorgeous, likened by some to the one in St Antoine-des-Quinze Vingts or La Trinite…….Fairs emerges as a top-notch performer. His registrations, tempos, and sensitivity to subtle nuances in phrasing and articulation are superb. I would place this recording with Leonardy at St Eustache (July / Aug 2000), Patrick (Sept/Oct 1997), Wilson (Delos 3047), and Pincemaille (Motette 12541). I hope Fairs will record more for Naxos. This is an outstanding release.”
–Review by Metz, American Record Guide, September/ October 2007

“The organ itself is a splendid instrument for such a recording. The lovely warm sonorities of the Cavaillé-Coll craftsmanship are showcased throughout, but really shine in the Prélude of Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le theme du `Veni Creator’, Op. 4 demonstrating the beautifully voiced flutes and soft reed stops, not to mention the luscious strings. The rousing finish to the variations is extremely exciting……….Without an enormous acoustic to contend with, the clarity of Duruflé’s complex, fastidious writing can be heard clearly in this recording thanks to the recording engineer’s microphone placement. It’s also testimony to Fairs’ articulate playing; this repertoire requires buckets of technique. Organs in echo-plagued buildings are not the easiest instruments to record well. Here the sound of this magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ has been captured beautifully.”
–Review by Max Kenworthy, Musicweb International, July 2007

“It is always difficult to decide the relative merit of a new recording added to a long list of exemplars. Paraphrasing my late father, no-one deliberately makes a bad recording of the `Complete Organ Works of Maurice Duruflé.’ Often decisions as to what version is `best’ come down to subjective opinions or even irrational preference. The present recording has, to my ear, four advantages – one the clarity of the sound is superb, secondly the playing is totally competent and convincing, thirdly the organ used is a Caviallé-Coll and lastly it is a well-presented CD at only £5.99. But the bottom line is that enthusiasts of Duruflé’s music will insist on having at least half a dozen different recordings. The present disc would make an ideal first instalment to that collection!”

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