Louis Vierne


Pièces de Fantaisie

(Fantasy Pieces)

Begun in 1926 and completed  the following year, the four suites of  Pièces de Fantaisie are an elegant synthesis of the art of Louis Vierne and a perfect reflection of the composer’s personality.

Modest and tormented by nature, of delicate health (his problems of eyesight were stationary at the time, but he was experiencing  his first cardiac alerts),  Vierne uncovers here every aspect of his art: we can admire the virtuoso organist in the Toccata or the Carillon de Westminster; the architect in Hymne au Soleil or Cathédrales; while  the man of melancholy and suffering is present in the Andantino or the Feux Follets (Will o’ the wisp) – no facetious little sparks here, but a phantasmagoric B minor,  whose shafts of light project  ghostlike shadows.
Conceived for the organ of Notre-Dame cathedral  Paris,  the ample harmonies,  contrasting   layers of sound,   and all the   melodic  richness  are faithfully reproduced by the organ of Saint-Ouen. The foundation stops, the celestes and the reeds have an inimitable range of colour, the admirable tutti is a  model of tonal balance.

“Applause for the delirious energy unfurled by Susan Landale, ever master of the situation ! The Cavaillé-Coll  of Saint-Ouen (what a machine!) obviously  transports her to the organists’ paradise; one can hear this in the musician’s radiant communication.  Force and flexibility, the  joy of performance,  without which  music cannot come alive in the listener.  The organ is perfectly tuned to her aspirations.  One will listen intently to the “release” at the end of each piece to enjoy to the full the presence of the organ in the abbey. Really  superb !




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