Duruflé: Complete Organ Works / Friedhelm Flamme

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This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

If your system is a little shy in the bass, forget this disc. On the other hand, if you have a good setup and you enjoy organ music even a little, you are going to fall in love with this disc. The Mühleisen organ at the church of Bad Gandershein was built in 2000. The booklet note advises us that the manufacturer was awarded the "Meilleurs ouvriers de France" distinction for this instrument. They were being too modest: had they said "Europe" instead of "France", this organ would have deserved the accolade.

Such sumptuous sonorities, such perfect integration of the instrument within its acoustic environment, and what a recording! The engineers have achieved a miracle here, capturing a richness consistent throughout the entire sound spectrum, placing the organ ideally within its natural space. The recording never sounds "engineered" specifically for playback on disc, nor is it self-consciously a sonic spectacular for its own sake. This is one of those rare efforts when all of the technical parameters just went right, and this is as true of the stereo recording as it is of the even more evocative SACD multichannel version.

Under these auspicious circumstances, organist Friedrich Flamme rises to the occasion admirably. The discography of Duruflé organ works certainly has grown in recent years, with notable versions by Lecaudey in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (Sony), Schmidt (Aeolus), Pincemaille (Motette), and excerpts recorded by Escaich (Calliope). I wouldn't say that Flamme eclipses all of these, but his instrument is infinitely more supple and rich than Lecaudey's, and clearly better captured on disc than Schmidt's.

Flamme also knows, by his choice of registrations and his patience, how to evoke both the mystery and gentle mysticism of this music--as in the sublime Adagio from Op. 4 and the suddenly brilliant Toccata from the Suite Op. 5. In contrapuntal works, such as the Prélude et fugue sur le nom d'Alain, the clarity of texture and steady buildup of tension are irresistible. This is a marvelous disc, and if you've been waiting for a great organ recording to test on your system, this is it.
--Christophe Huss, ClassicsToday.com

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 777042-2

  • UPC: 761203704224

  • Label: CPO

  • Composer: Maurice Duruflé

  • Performer: Friedhelm Flamme