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Suite latine, Op 86

composer
1927; premiered by Widor on the Madeleine’s newly restored Cavaillé-Coll on 13 January 1928

 
Premiered by Widor on the Madeleine’s newly restored Cavaillé-Coll, 13 January 1928, the Suite Latine, Op 86 (1927)—‘Latine’ in the religious rather than Respighi understanding—was inspired by the devotion and support shown him by his American student, the Bach scholar Albert Riemenschneider (1878-1950). Rivalling Shaw’s pithiness across the Channel, one French critic the morning after was lost for words—‘Maître Widor played the organ: that says it all’ (Gaulois). Riemenschneider considered it ‘the wonderful product of a man old in years, but who seems to keep eternally young through his work and interest in the progress of others’. Marcel Dupré, a former (pre-War) composition student at the Conservatoire, found within its leisurely, cultured pages ‘a definitively purified and spiritualised sentiment’. Like the last two organ symphonies (Gothique, Romane, 1894/99), three of the movements draw on Gregorian plainchant. II Beatus Vir, ‘Blessed is the man’ (Psalm). E flat major, Andante. IV Ave Maris Stella, ‘Hail Star of the Sea’ (Marian vespers hymn). D minor, Andante moderato molto. VI Lauda Sion [Salvatórem], ‘Sion, lift up thy voice and sing’ (Sequence). C minor, Tempo di marcia).

The Suite Latine featured with the Gothique in Widor’s last foreign concert, in Salzurg Cathedral opening the 1932 Salzburg Festival (31 July). His proximity to the greats of the pastùWagner, Liszt, Verdi—caught everyone’s imagination. ‘How lyric the Suite Latine, of which the Adagio [fifth movement] evokes a brother of Bruckner, for Widor has also known him.’ The critic Felix Aprahamian, as a boy of nineteen, heard Widor play this same piece at Saint-Sulpice the following year. ‘It was a revelation for the youngster: instead of adding and subtracting stops at every crescendo and diminuendo, Widor simply opened or closed the swell box’ (David Aprahamian Liddle, February 2005).

from notes by Ateş Orga © 2016

Recordings

Widor: Solo Organ Works
Studio Master: SIGCD438Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Widor: The Complete Organ Works
SIGCD596Download only

Details

No 1: Praeludium
Track 1 on SIGCD438 CD1 [5'55] Download only
Track 1 on SIGCD596 CD7 [5'55] Download only
No 2: Beatus vir
Track 2 on SIGCD438 CD1 [5'07] Download only
Track 2 on SIGCD596 CD7 [5'07] Download only
No 3: Lamento
Track 3 on SIGCD438 CD1 [4'19] Download only
Track 3 on SIGCD596 CD7 [4'19] Download only
No 4: Ave maris stella
Track 4 on SIGCD438 CD1 [5'18] Download only
Track 4 on SIGCD596 CD7 [5'18] Download only
No 5: Adagio
Track 5 on SIGCD438 CD1 [6'09] Download only
Track 5 on SIGCD596 CD7 [6'09] Download only
No 6: Lauda Sion
Track 6 on SIGCD438 CD1 [7'28] Download only
Track 6 on SIGCD596 CD7 [7'28] Download only

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