Christopher Jacobson, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Kazuki Yamada – Saint-Saëns, Poulenc, Widor: Works for Organ (2019)
DSD256 (.dsf) 1 bit/11,29 MHz | Time – 65:29 minutes | 10,3 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/176,4 kHz | Time – 65:29 minutes | 1,89 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet
The monumental and colourful sounds of the organ and symphony orchestra blend together perfectly on this splendid recording of Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Organ” Symphony, Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani and the Toccata from Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphony Number 5. The Geneva Victoria Hall organ is played by Christopher Jacobson, he works with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and conductor Kazuki Yamada. This new Pentatone release takes yet another step closer to audiophile nirvana, providing a natural concert-hall perspective that balances clarity and atmosphere while capturing the full power of organ and orchestra with stunning, floor-rumbling power.
This 2019 Pentatone release features organist Christopher Jacobsen performing three works that have become beloved showpieces, the Symphony No. 3 in C minor (“Organ”) of Camille Saint-Saëns, Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor, and the flashy Toccata finale from Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphony No. 5 in F minor. Backed by Kazuki Yamada and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Jacobsen delivers clean and precise playing, which is not too hard to achieve in the Saint-Saëns and the Poulenc works, because even though there are issues of timing and coordination with the orchestra, the actual organ parts aren’t technically demanding. The reverse is true in the Widor Toccata, which is a popular knuckle-buster that gives even a virtuoso organist a workout. Listeners familiar with these works will find the interpretations to be conventional and unsurprising, so the main consideration must be the sound of this multichannel recording, made in Geneva’s Victoria Hall. Pentatone captures the organ with clear details, which are perhaps difficult to appreciate in the symphony’s quiet Poco Adagio movement, but vivid in the Finale, and dramatic and powerful in Poulenc’s concerto. Highly recommended, especially for fans of organ extravaganzas.
01 – Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78, R. 176 “Organ”: Ia. Adagio – Allegro moderato
02 – Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78, R. 176 “Organ”: Ib. Poco adagio
03 – Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78, R. 176 “Organ”: IIa. Allegro moderato – Presto
04 – Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78, R. 176 “Organ”: IIb. Maestoso – Allegro
05 – Poulenc: Organ Concerto in G Minor, FP 93: Ia. Andante
06 – Poulenc: Organ Concerto in G Minor, FP 93: Ib. Allegro giocoso
07 – Poulenc: Organ Concerto in G Minor, FP 93: Ic. Andante moderato
08 – Poulenc: Organ Concerto in G Minor, FP 93: Tempo allegro, molto agitato
09 – Widor: Organ Symphony No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 42 No. 1: V. Toccata
Producer by Job Maarse. Engineered by Jean-Marie Geijsen.
Recorded at Victory Hall, Geneva in August 2017.
Balance Engineer & Editing by Erdo Groot.
Christopher Jacobson – organ
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande – conducted by Kazuki Yamada