Alexandre Guilmant: Selected Organ Works, Volume 3
Alexandre Guilmant: Selected Organ Works, Volume 3. Bärenreiter BA 8409
Two volumes have already appeared in the series. These contained the eight organ sonatas. This volume concentrates on the composer's works for liturgical use. The pieces are grouped into a 'Gregorian Suite', a Christmas Suite( complete with Chorale, Magnificat and 'La Crèche) and Trois Oraisons (Prayers) – described as the composer's swansong. These latter pieces are simple and reflective in style and will be useful pre-service music. The 'Christmas' music is similarly contemplative though more demanding of technique, while the cantus firmus pieces based on Gregorian chant are more like Guilmant's concert style. There is a wealth of service and recital music here, and the publisher's usual high standards of editing and printing are in evidence. There are extensive notes on the music, the sources and relevant performance practice, including the specifications of key instruments of the period. While this is not music of the first rank, Bärenreiter are to be congratulated on making it so readily available to organists – who will need to be of ARCO standard to realize the volume's contents to best effect.