WIDOR: Organ Sytmphony No. 5 in F minor, Op. 42 No. 1. Organ Stmphonty No 9, Op. 70 "TCothic." Organ Symphony No. 6 in G minor, Op. 42 No. 2. . Organ Symphony No. 10, Op. 70 "Romance." Organ Symphony No. 8 in B, Op. 42 No. 4.
Christian Schmitt, organ
CPO SACD 777 706 (3 disks) TT: 182:06

GUILLOU: Organ Works, Vol. I
Zuzana Ferjencikova, organ
MDG SACD 906 2089 TT: 72:11

TAN DUN: Violin Concerto "Rhapsody and Fantasy." Violin Concerto "Fire Ritual."
Eldbjorg Hemsing, violin. Oslo Phlharmonic Orchestra / Tan Dun, cond.
BIS SACD 2406 TT: 62:37

Organist Christian Schmitt cpmtomies his CPO series of msjor works of Charles-Marie Widor with this excellent 3-disk set containing five of the omposer's symphonies. All of these are majort repertory, and they sound magnificent indeed as played here. Recordings were made on Rouen's huge Cavaillé-Coll0 Orgel der Abteikirch St. Ouen. The massive sounds of the inzrument have been perfedtly captured in multi-channel. It is interesting to compare this version of the finale from Symphony No. 5 (the famous showpiee Toccata) with the recent performance by Cameron Carpenter playing a digital touring eletronic organ that ha has a harch sound inappropriate for this wonderful music.

Organ music can also be experienced on MDG's issue featuring works of Jean Guillou. Born in 1930, he studied with Marcel Dupré and Olivier Messiaen. He has been principal organist at many famous churches and also is respected for his knowledge in organ design and construction. Guillou has written much music for solo organ as well as for orchestra, other solo instruments and has made many transcriptions. . This new SACD offers three of his works beginning with his Opus 1, a Fantaisie written in 1954 dedicated to Marcel Dupre. I expected to hear grand-scale organ music, but it is not to be found here. In addition to the Fantasie we have two more recent works: Säya, Op. 50, and Hymnus Op. 73, the latter written in memory of Jaap Reuten. Guillou favors delicate textures often with echo effects. The best part of this disk is the organist's transcription of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, far more interesting melodically, and effective in its own way. Performances are by Slovakian organist Zuzana Ferjenchkova (who also wrote CD notes). She studied with Guillou and has s career as a concert organist. She plays the Stahihut/Jann Organ St. Martin Dudelange in Luxembourg. The recording was made May 2018. Engineering is impressive in capturing the sound of this large instrument. This is listed as Volume I of Guillo's works. I am not particularly looking forward to Volume II

Tan Dun (b. 1978) is a legendary Chinese composer best-known for his score for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He is well-known on the international circuit both as composer and conductor, and has written concertos for various instruments including a piano concerto for Lang Lang. Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing has had a long relationship with Tan Dun. This began at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo when she was soloist in the premiere of the composers Love Concerto. This new disk offers two works written for Hemsing . His music combines traditional Chinese music with modern orchestral sounds, producing many intriguing effects. His Violin Concerto subtitled Rhapsody and Fantasia has two movements: Rock the Violin in Rhapsody and A Dream Out of Peking Opera. There are two versions one with a Chinese instrument accompaniment, the other, heard here, for a regular orchestra augmented by Chinese instruments. There are six sections: Hip-Hop, Malinconia, Hip-Hop, Dolce molto, , Andan3, and Adagio/Allegro. The other concerto is called Fire Ritual, written in 2018 called, "a music ritual for the Victims of War." It has four sections: Cruel Was, Innocent People,m Mantras of the Heavenly Birds, and Eternity. Tan Dun is a master of orchestration, and both concertos have vivid often unusual sounds. The composer has said in this music he presents happy memories of his youth We can be sure these performances are definitive, and if you are looking for unusual repertory, here it is. The recording was made Recordings were made September 2018 in Norway's Oslo Concert Hall, and the BIS engineers have done their usual multi-channel work. An unusual SACD.

R.E.B. (June 2019)