« A tribute to our Holy Father the Bach »
This quote from Vincent d’Indy clearly illustrates the choice of the works and composers grouped together on this recording ; APF Boëly, F.Mendelssohn and J Brahms. Bach was a model for all three, an unfathomable source of inspiration, that « little stream » (Bach translates as little stream in German) that enabled them to renovate and enrich their musical style. It was they who played a vital role in the development of the repertoire for organ, king of instruments in the mid 19th century.
F. Mendlessohn is known for the part he played in the revival of interest for the Kantor from Leipzig. As a master of romanticism he was overwhelmed by Bach’s music, and could doubtless be looked on as Johann Sebastian’s spiritual son.
F. Mendlessohn met APF Boëly in Paris in 1852, an encounter that was certainly a great source of stimulation for the Parisian organist.
As a mark of his respect and devotion to Bach, Boëly completed in red ink a manuscript of Bach’s Art of Fugue, modestly suggesting a conclusion for the work.
As for J. Brahms, the organ was a mere parenthesis in his musical career. He is known to have come to the organ alongside Clara Schumann, and performing Bach was a foregone conclusion.
The Riepp-Calinet organ in Gray, restored by JF Muno, adds soul to these masterpieces through its poetic voicing. The richness of the foundation stops (in particular the « flûte traversière » and the 8 foot bourdon), and the powerful reeds, are remarkable.
This organ enchants the listener with the way it sings.