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Hyperion Records

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Night from the roof of One St Paul's Churchyard (2006) by Peter Spens
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA68046
Recording details: April 2012
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Richard Pinel
Engineered by Martin Haskell & Iestyn Rees
Release date: October 2013
Total duration: 14 minutes 41 seconds

'I am totally convinced throughout this splendid album by Johnson's playing, which is superbly poised and magnificently self-assured' (Gramophone)

'Transcribing Franck's D minor Symphony for organ works extremely well. Simon Johnson's performance on the instrument at St Paul's Cathedral is deftly paced, and the shorter pieces are also enjoyable' (BBC Music Magazine) » More

'This new Hyperion recording of Franck's Symphony in Simon Johnson's transcription and played by him on the great organ of St Paul's Cathedral is an impresssive and enlightening experience. Johnson clearly has the measure of the work … I was enthralled throughout. The Cantabile and the great Pièce héroïque are very finely performed … the detail in the recording is surprisingly good considering the venue, and the engineers have to be applauded for capturing this magnificent instrument in its more refined and gentle registration … Johnson's performance is beautifully paced throughout' (International Record Review) » More

Symphonic Interlude from Rédemption, M52
composer
1874
arranger

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
History has judged Franck’s symphonic, chamber and organ music rather more kindly than his vocal works. For this reason, the Symphonic Interlude that separates the two parts of the oratorio Rédemption has not acquired the popularity that it deserves.

Franck described the subtext of the work as ‘the joy of the world, transformed and gladdened by the word of Christ’. It is built on two main thematic ideas, the first a gloriously noble tune that Emmanuel Chabrier described as ‘the very soul of music’, and the second an energetic peal from the trombones, with responses and modulations from the brass and woodwind. The two are developed and combined ingeniously.

Marcel Dupré made a transcription of the Symphonic Interlude that he played before Midnight Mass at the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, where he was the organist. The tradition of playing the work was carried on by his successors, Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, and the present titulaire, Daniel Roth, who made his own more detailed version that forms the basis of what is recorded here.

from notes by Simon Johnson © 2013

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