During the long life of the French composer Charles-Marie Widor – he died in 1937 at the age of 93 – his organ music earned him a world reputation as an outstanding composer for the instrument, of which he was a master. In Widor’s list of works there are no fewer than ten symphonies for organ, and the two that were composed around 1880 and published as his Opus 42, are amongst the most justly famous. Indeed, the concluding Toccata from the Fifth Symphony in F minor is known as one of the most admired and popular of all organ pieces. Both works make considerable demands on the player, and on this brilliant new album the highly acclaimed Colin Walsh, at the organ of Lincoln Cathedral, gives outstanding performances of virtuosity and sensitivity, revealing the qualities of this music anew.
"...this is a well thought-out performance with many felicities.The sound is excellent..."
Ritter - American Record Guide - March/April 2007
"Two much recorded pieces are performed by the Organist Laureate of Lincoln Cathedral. Walsh’s sensitive and virtuosic performances appear to echo the influence of his teacher, Jean Langlais; tempi are carefully selected to allow both Widor’s music and the refined tone of the Father Willis Organ space to breathe in the acoustic. The organist’s balance in achieving this without permitting the music to lose impetus is exquisite. The famous Toccata demonstrates this perfectly: the organ’s weighty pedal section rumbles gloriously -without obscuring the intricacies above."
Choir & Organ - January/February 2007
"...Colin Walsh’s account of two of Widor’s Works on an Instrument several hundred miles to the north is a faithful reflection of the composer’s prescribed registrations, and an excellent and atmospheric recording it is too. Walsh’s tempo of the famous Toccata from the Fifth Symphony seems on the steady side but there is a precedent, namely Widor’s speed in his own recording of the work. Whatever your preference, this will make an enjoyable addition to your CD collection."
Church Music Quarterly - December 2006
"...there is much to enjoy in this recording, which provides a good way to experience two fantastic organ symphonies. A qualified recommendation."
John E Ross - Fanfare - March/April 2007