Franck: Chorale No. 1; Chorale No. 2; Chorale No. 3; Prélude, Fugue et Variation in B minor; Cantabile from Trois Pièces; Panis angelicus (arr. Britton)

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COMPOSERS: Franck
LABELS: ASV Quicksilva
WORKS: Chorale No. 1; Chorale No. 2; Chorale No. 3; Prélude, Fugue et Variation in B minor; Cantabile from Trois Pièces; Panis angelicus (arr. Britton)
PERFORMER: Francis Grier, James Lancelot, Harold Britton (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: CD QS 6175 ADD/DDD (1982-91)
On the strength of this recording, the Rieger organ at Christ Church, Oxford, is hardly the most sympathetic organ on which to record Franck’s music. Somehow, the bright, unflattering reeds seem a world away from the dark, plangent colours of those that Franck would have known intimately at St Clotilde. The problem is compounded by a harsh, unfavourably close recording which all but smothers any residual acoustic, and the rather unyielding handling of the music by Grier. Listen to the lacklustre second Chorale in which he is almost metronomic in his rigid approach to pulse. Stephen Haylett

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