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Hyperion Records

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Leaving La Madeleine by Jean Beraud (1849-1935)
Private Collection / Photo © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67922
Recording details: June 2011
La Madeleine, Paris, France
Produced by Daniel Moult
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2012
Total duration: 2 minutes 52 seconds

'The mighty Fantaisie pour orgue-Aeolian, complete with tubular bells, written for the new American Aeolian organ in 1906, sounds epic on this vast, brooding instrument, so splendidly tamed by the dextrous Smith' (The Observer)

'Saint-Saëns described the Fantaisie as 'unplayable by the hands and feet' but Andrew-John Smith proves otherwise … in the more conventional repertoire, Smith capitalises on the colours that the La Madeleine instrument so richly offers' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The variety of colour explored by Smith on this fabulous instrument contributes to the joyous experience of listening to his performance. The use of orchestral tubular bells … is successful and Smith's dextrous virtuosity thrills us though to the conclusion … the enthusiasm with which Smith talks about these pieces in his notes … is amply reflected in his playing, which is in turn commanding, sensitive, robust and lyrical, as the music requires' (International Record Review)

O salutaris hostia in D major
composer
1904; dedicated to Gaston Choisnel; Saint-SaŽns' own arrangement of the fifth movement of his Op 4 Mass of 1856

Introduction  EnglishFranÁais
Gaston Choisnel is the dedicatee of O salutaris hostia, the only organ transcription of his own work that Saint-Saëns ever published. Generally he was happy to allow others (Guilmant, Busser, Boëllmann and Gigout among them) to undertake these arrangements for him, but in 1904 he himself returned to the Mass, Op 4, of 1856, and to its graceful fifth movement, for sopranos and organ, as the source for this miniature. He performed the piece himself at the Salle Pleyel in November 1904, prompting Arthur Pougin to write in Le Ménestrel of this ‘absolutely delightful’ work that it ‘so enchanted the audience’ and that ‘so enthusiastic was the applause that he should have repeated it’.

from notes by Andrew-John Smith © 2012

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