Voyages: Orgue De La Philharmonie De Paris – Organ works performed by Olivier Latry

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COMPOSERS: Chopin,Debussy,Falla,Fauré and Saint-Saëns,JS Bach,Khachaturian,Liszt,Mendelssohn,Rimsky-Korsakov,Wagner
LABELS: Erato
ALBUM TITLE: Voyages: Orgue De La Philharmonie De Paris
WORKS: Works by Khachaturian, Falla, Mendelssohn, JS Bach, Liszt, Wagner, Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Fauré and Saint-Saëns
PERFORMER: Olivier Latry (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: 9029588850

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Its onstage console looks like something out of NASA Mission Control, which is appropriate really since the organ for the new Paris Philharmonie sounds positively out of this world. The hall entrusted the building of the instrument to the Austrian firm of Rieger – the result, nonetheless, is French-leaning in its seductive palette and conceived along broadly ‘symphonic’ lines.

Moreover it sits supremely comfortably in the acoustics of the auditorium. (Either that or Erato’s recording engineers have played a blinder.) Olivier Latry’s inaugural CD road test pushes its symphonic aspirations to the max in a programme dominated by orchestral transcriptions. Latry’s characteristic integrity and virtuosic verve illuminate everything he touches – particularly in the lascivious glissando that ends his own arrangement of Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance, a magisterial realisation of Liszt’s St Francis of Paola Walking on the Waves, and an unexpectedly convincingly reimagined Debussy Cathédrale engloutie. Perhaps Dupré’s celebrated Bach transcription sounds a tad earnest, but it’s a small quibble. When a master organist and instrument collide, what’s not to love?

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Paul Riley