Notes & Reviews:
Here is chance to hear Widor's evergreen Toccata, beloved at wedding ceremonies, in its original context as part of the Organ Symphony No. 5. It is coupled with Vierne's Carillon evoking Big Ben in London and Reubke's overwhelming Sonata on the 94th Psalm.
Vierne's "Carillon de Westminster" dongs out the chimes of the famous clock tower as though through a pre-war London fog, and the blurring effect as of an impressionist painting, is well displayed by Simon Preston under the far distant ceiling of Westminster Abbey... Pure sentiment or not, I prefer this performance to any I've heard on French organs... Widor seems to have a little more spread round the middle, but he is certainly invested with glowing colors amid a marvelous sense of space. Simon Preston commands and directs the passing pageant with a fine sense of timing.
There seems infinity of brooding stops, hugging closely together growing and melting under that high vault like cloudy shadows, changing shape with the moods as they reveal themselves. Reeds and mixtures, when they are roused, pierce this misty scene with lightning shafts and gentlemanly Harrison snarls. This performance is wholly riveting.
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