GILBERT AMY (b.1936): 3 Inventions for Organ, XAVIER DARASSE (1934-1992): Organum VIII for Organ, 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone and Tuba, OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992): Messe de la Pentecôte.
Catalogue Number: 07P069
Label: Editions Hortus
Description: Gilbert Amy's Inventions are as inventive as the title suggests, freely exploring the many timbres and textures of the organ in what can only be described as a very French-sounding idiom. In part this is due to rhythmic patterns characteristic of French folk music, in part because of the music's decisive placement in the tradition of French liturgical music for the organ, and related to this, the distinctive influence of Messiaen on the composer's harmonic thinking and approach to organ textures and gestures. Especially in the second and third pieces, the composer adopts an idiom based on the use of plainchant as material for variation ad elaboration, though here the themes are his own. The Darasse makes use of the sonically splendid and striking combination of organ and brass, here given distinctively contrasting material; the brass ensemble writing is linear, in complex, dissonant counterpoint, while the organ provides punctuating gestures and extended chordal foundations for the texture. A certain improvisatory feeling becomes an actual compositional device in a central section, in which prescribed material is played freely, without explicit performance directions. This is resolved in a passage of bravura pyrotechnics, after which the piece ends mysteriously and ambiguously. François Espinasse (organs of Saint-Étienne, Saint-Claire chapel of the Institute Catholique and of Notre-Dame de Dalbade, all in Toulouse), Albert Calvayrac, Paul Millischer (trumpets), Gilles Rambach (horn), Daniel Lassalle (trombone), Max Fouga (tuba).