Symphonic Organ Works
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Symphonic Organ Works

The Grand Organ of St Paul's brings the symphonic organ works of Cesar Franck to life, played by Simon Johnson, the current Organist of St Paul's Cathedral/ He plays his own transcription of Franck's Symphony in D minor, a troublesome work which was despised by critics at its premiere. The paradox Symphony was memorably defined by Norman Demuth: 'Never was there such magnificent music so badly written.' The present transcription may be seen as an authentic response to that paradox, particular since modern advances n console control enable Franck's orchestration to be used as the outline for a detailed registration plan.

The 'Symphonic Interlude' that separated the two parts of the oratorio 'Redemption' 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 Emmanuele Chabrier described as 'the very soul of music'. and the second and energetic peal from the trombones, with responses and modulations from the brass and woodwind. The two are developed and combined ingeniously.

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, November 2013

The music suits the instrument admirably and is utterly convincing, especially in such a superbly sympathetic performance as this, so well recorded - IRR, October 2013

I am totally convinced throughout this splendid disc by Johnson's playing, which is superbly poised and magnificently self-assured - Gramophone, January 2014

Cesar Frank (1822-1890)

1 Symphony in D minor [43'46]
      transcribed by Simon Johnson (b1975)
4 Cantabile [6'12]
5 Piece heroique [9'17]
6 Symphonic Interlude from Redemption [14'41]
     transcribed by Daniel Roth (b1942)

Organ of St Paul's Cathedral

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: 73 minutes 55 seconds

Symphonic Organ Works
£ 14.00
Product Code:
7 - 10 days unless specified