One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Confluences
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Prelude to Tristan and Isolde (1859) [10:31]
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Fantasie in A major from Trois Pièces (1878) [14:44]
Samuel ROUSSEAU (1853-1904)
Fantasie for Organ (1894) [14:03]
Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) 
Adagio from Symphony No. 7 (1883) [21:17]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
At the Grave of Richard Wagner (1883) [4:39]
‘Funérailles’ from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (1849) [13:26]
Maurice Clement (organ)
rec 2017, Church of St. Laurentius, Diekirch, Luxembourg
AEOLUS AE11141 SACD [79:08]

Maurice Clement here presents a thoughtfully curated programme of organ music. The title Confluences refers to a ‘process of merger’, in which selected works from a range of composers are contrasted. The underlying common denominator is Wagner, who was a significant influence on German and French composers from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth. So, the Prelude from Tristan and Isolde, in an arrangement by Clement, is an ideal place to start. I was initially apprehensive as to how this orchestral work would adapt, but the arrangement works very well.

In 1883, on what would have been Wagner’s 70th birthday, Liszt composed his At the Grave of Richard Wagner. This brief work exists in versions for piano, organ and quartet with harp. It’s one of a series of epitaphs Liszt composed in memory of Wagner together with the two versions of La Lugubre gondola and R.W. - Venezia, the latter immediately following Wagner’s death. Its eldrich character is suitably portrayed, with the bells of Monsalvet, at the end, vividly captured. In similar vein we have ‘Funérailles’ from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, a much earlier work dating from 1849. It sounds wonderful on the organ and provides a potent and dramatic finale.

Wagner’s enduring presence can be noted in Franck’s ‘Fantasie in A major’ from Trois Pièces (1878). With its heroism, romantic sweep and drama, embroidered with refined chromatic harmonies, the work makes a tremendous impact. The ‘Fantasie in E minor’ by Samuel Rousseau, a composer I have to admit I haven’t come across before, was written in memory of César Franck. It’s a boldly expressive piece, heightened with colourful harmonic brush strokes.

I am very taken with the arrangement of the Bruckner slow movement. In his Seventh Symphony, the composer pays homage to Wagner. The Adagio is inscribed “in memory of the deceased, much loved and immortal master”. Clement, responsible for this stunning transformation, coaxes myriad colours and sonorities from the organ with overwhelming effect.

The instrument is the Dalstein & Haerpfer/Manufacture d'orgues Thomas Organ (1870/2016) of St. Laurentius Church, Diekirch, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The Aeolus engineers have done a marvellous job in capturing the splendours of its magnificence in splendid SACD sound. Clement’s imaginative registration choices showcase the organ’s many colours and sonorities. Combining both German and French influences, its hybrid nature is particularly suited to the selection of music on display. I enjoyed this disc immensely and it gets my enthusiastic endorsement.

Stephen Greenbank

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger