It is all good clean fun, cheerfully played and spectacularly recorded (in hybrid SA-CD) by all concerned, the BBC Philharmonic and Rumon Gamba included. The Liverpool Willis organ is ideally suited, I think, to the Cavaillé-Colliery that was the original flavour of this repertoire. Anyone who is a sucker for this kind of repertoire and for Chandos’ occasional forays into it with the present performers is in for a whale of a time; and once again I’m choosing my words carefully.
International Record Review
Tracey as ever has an absolute feel for the building and the organ… its wonderful palette of well-nigh incomparable soft solo-colours enlivens the softer moments in the programme, which will bring pleasure to many.
Ian Tracey finds suitably Gallic colours from the Willis organ and he, Rumon Gamba and the BBC Phil achieve impeccable ensemble and balance in the fine performances.
Recorded in Liverpool Cathedral, this thrilling programme taps the 19th- and 20th-century French repertoire that exploited the organ’s burgeoning colour spectrum. The opening Grand Choeur dialogue by Eugéne Gigout sets a magisterial mood, echoed by Gounod’s Fantasy on the Russian National Anthem, Theodore Dubois’s Fantatsie triomphale and works by Saint-Saëns, Marcel Dupré and Alexandre Guilmant in complementing the solo organ brilliantly with full orchestral panoply. This is a disc that makes you wish we heard these pieces more often in the concert hall.
Ian Tracey makes the most of the colouristic possibilities of his fine instrument and also uses the widest possible range of dynamics, with the tone at times shaded down to a distant whisper.
Penguin Complete Guide