Peter Stevens plays works by three towering figures of the French organ world. Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphonie Romane is a radiant meditation on the Gregorian chants of Easter Sunday, and the Fantaisie-Choral from Tournemire’s L’Orgue Mystique is a deeply spiritual reflection on two of the best-known chants of Pentecost: Veni Sancte Spiritus and Veni Creator Spiritus. Two contrasting pieces by Marcel Dupré bookend the programme: his Cortège et Litanie is probably his best-loved work for the organ, while the uninhibited confidence of the Deuxième Symphonie shows a different side of the composer’s personality; its visceral and hard-hitting textures given electrifying voice by the Ruffatti organ of Buckfast Abbey.
‘Stevens’ sense of the symphony’s architecture is…supported by a fine technique, a sumptuous organ and a glorious acoustic. This is a very impressive recorded performance indeed… A certain impudence with a slightly sarcastic edge informs his superbly perky performance of the second movement, while the swashbuckling Toccata with which the Symphony concludes comes across full of swagger and self-confidence… A super performance to round off a really super disc.’ (MusicWeb International)
★★★★★ ‘I heartily recommend this recording to people who, like me are partial to French organ music from this era.’ (Organists’ Review)
Cortège et Litanie (Op. 19, No. 2)
Symphonie Romane (Op. 73)
Fantasie-Choral (L'Orgue Mystique, No. 25:
In Festo Pentecostes)
Deuxième Symphonie (Op. 26)