ANDR MARCHAL: 1ST RECORDINGS - PARIS 1936, 1948
Inevitably, given the age of the recordings, there's quite a bit of background noise to contend with, but the quality of Marchal's playing comes through clearly. He performs music by Bach (Chorale preludes and the Passacaglia), Blow, Buxtehude (F# minor Prelude and Fugue), Cabezon, Purcell, Sweelinck & the Impromptu which Vierne dedicated to Marchal. Most tracks were recorded on the Merklin/Gonzalez organ of St. Eustache, Paris, and the remainder were played on a Gonzalez house organ of the 1930s.
Marchal successfully captures the rhetoric of Baroque music in his energised performances characterised by clear articulation. The secular works have a strong forward momentum whilst the Bach chorales have a simple prayerful approach. There are numerous manual and stop changes which may not please the purists, but which are convincing and appropriate to the St. Eustache organ. Dr. Rollin Smith & Ralph Tilden each contribute informative programme notes, and this CD is a fine document of good, honest musicianship from one of France's greatest organists. CN
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