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André Marchal, organ recordings 1936 - 1956

André Marchal First Recordings ­ 1936, 1948
Arbiter 135

Prelude & Fugue in F# minor
Komm Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist, BWV 631a
O Mensch bewein dein Sünde, BWV 622
Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ, BWV 604
Passacaglia & Fugue in C minor, BWV582:
Jesu meine Freude, BWV 753
Cabezon: Tiento
Santa Maria: Harmonisation d'une melodie
Landino: Questa Fanciulla
Palestrina: Ricercare
Blow: Toccata in D minor
Purcell: Trumpet tune and air
Mein junges Leben hat ein End
O Mensch bewein dein Sünde gross
Demonstration: 'les jeux d'orgue'
Vierne: Impromptu

The 1956 Zodiac Recordings

Bach: Orgelbuchlein, BWV 603-12, 614-15:
Puer Natus in Bethlehem; Gelobet sei'st Du, Jesu Christ; Der Tag, der ist so Freudenreich; Von Himmel hoch, da komm' Ich hier; Von Himmel kam der Engel schar; Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich; In dulci jubilo; Jesu, meine freude; Christum wir sollen loben schon; Wir christenleut'; Das alte Jahr vergangen ist; In dir ist Freude.
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C, BWV 564
Demonstration of the Gonzalez Organ: Marchal describes and plays each stop on his Neo-Baroque organ

Arbiter has restored and published the recordings of the legendary blind organist André Marchal (Paris 1936/1948 & 1956), whose London recitals I attended in my youth. Marchal was an innovator who rejected the heaviness of 19th century interpretation to clarify Baroque polyphony and he was an important forerunner of the contemporary interest in early organs.

These two CDs deserve the interest of all organists and organ enthusiasts. It takes only half-a-minute's listening to accustom yourself to the background, which Arbiter does not seek to eliminate with inevitable distortion of true sound quality. The sound quality is, to my ears, fine and Arbiter's documentation is, as always, comprehensive and full of interest. This note is to direct you urgently to the website of one of the most valuable of independent record labels, run - almost single handedly, I guess - by Allan Evans.

Subscribing to a freedom of information policy, his website gives easy access to all the liner notes, plus listening samples, so all you need to do is to click and enter a whole new world, perhaps?

See also my reviews of Arbiter's Busoni and Pachmann releases


© Peter Grahame Woolf