LÉON BOËLLMANN (1862-1897): Fantaisie in A, Pièces pour orgue, Op. 16, Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 11, Deuxième Suite, Op. 27 (original 1977 Cantilena LP release), 3 Heures mystiques, Suite Gothique in C Minor, Op. 25 (2002 recordings).
Catalogue Number: 04W035
Label: Brilliant Classics
Description: A short-lived contemporary of Louis Vierne, Boëllmann composed in most classical genres, notably chamber music, but it is his output for organ that has assured him immortality, for its hand-in-glove harmony with the instruments of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll that represented the high-point of French organ building in the Gothic style, never knowingly underequipped. Boëllmann wrote accordingly, to take advantage of the new French organs with their prodigious array of registral colors and dynamic variation. Beyond the imperishable but ubiquitous Suite Gothique, the album offers discoveries galore, in the pomp and circumstance of the little-known Fantaisie, the perfumed refinements of the selection from his liturgically focused Heures mystiques, the quietradiance of the G major Offertoire and the ingenious Carillon from the Douze pièces. The ‘Prelude pastoral’ opening the Deuxième Suite is a real charmer, and deserves to stimulate a Boëllmann renaissance along with much else here. Piet van der Steen (Cavaillé-Coll organ of Sint-Augustinuskerk, Amsterdam and Schyven-Flentrop organ of Sint-Petrus-en-Paulus Churhc, Oostende).