Volume 1 in a new collection of Charles-marie Widor’s organ Symphonies, performed by Joseph Nolan on the magnificent Cavaillé organ of L’église de la Madeleine, Paris.
Bridging the generations from Mendelssohn to Messiaen, Empire to Republic, Widor was born to the organ. His Lyonnaise kinsfolk were organ-builders, he showed early talent for the instrument, and for decades was the embodient of its might and splendour across the gallic domain - his ’Organ Symphonies’ were genre-defining in their influence.
Joseph Nolan is an internationally renowned organist, accalimed as ’brilliant and such an astute musician’ - Gramophone magazine. He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace in 2004, and has since been invited to perform and record in some of the world’s premiere venues - including the refurbished Organ of Buckingham Palace Ballroom (SIG 114) and the Organ of Saint-Sulpice in Paris (SIG 167). The Cavaillé-Coll Organ of La Madeleine, Paris is a similarly renowned instrument, with former cheif-organists including Camille Saint-Säens and Gabriel Fauré.
"These performances are full of spontaneity yet for all Nolan’s brilliance he allows the requirements of the composer always to take priority. The sympthy and expression that Nolan gives to this music and the assurance of his results will undoubtedly give this recital a special place amongst organ collectors." - Musicweb-International.com (for SIG 167 - The Organ of Saint Sulpice, Paris)
"... Nolan’s interpretations are musically first-class ... organ enthusiasts should certainly acquire this disc for the sake of Nolan’s admirable musical intelligence."
Robert Matthew-Walker - International Record Review - November 2012
"...Joseph Nolan’s painstaking approach to registration yields a sound which is about as authentic as you could wish. Add to this his amazingly precise finferwork, his total mastery of the score and his obvious empathy with this music ... has few challengers when it comes to the utter authority of the performances..."
Marc Rochester - Gramophone magazine - September 2012
"...These performances are also excellent...The booklet tells us that Joseph Nolan recorded his cycle of Widor’s ten symphonies in just seven nights at L’église de la Madeleine, which is no mean achievement. We can expect the standard to be as high as this first volume and this looks like being a set well worth collecting. The sound isn’t perhaps the most revealing you’ll ever come across for this type of organ repertoire, but the atmosphere and timbres are all just as they should be, the performances putting this amongst the top rank for these great works."
Dominy Clements - MusicWeb-International.com - 31 July 2012