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Bach, Franck, Widor: Organ Works Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, November 26, 1996
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$64.99 $8.28

Disc: 1
1. Toccata & Fugue in d, BWV 565
2. Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C, BWV 564
3. Passacaglia & Fugue in c, BWV 582
4. Con in d, Op.3, No.11, BWV 596: I. Allegro-Grave-Fugue
5. Con in d, Op.3, No.11, BWV 596: II. Largo
6. Con in d, Op.3, No.11, BWV 596: III. Largo e spiccato
7. Con in a, Op.3, No.6, BWV 593: I. Allegro
8. Con in a, Op.3, No.6, BWV 593: II. Adagio
9. Con in a, Op.3, No.6, BWV 593: III. Allegro
Disc: 2
1. Chorale No.1 in E
2. Chorale No.2 in b
3. Chorale No.3 in a
4. Pastorale, Op.19, in E
5. Piece heroique in b
6. Sym No.5 in f, Op.42, No.1: V. Toccata

Product Details

  • Performer: Fernando Germani
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach, César Franck, Charles-Marie Widor
  • Audio CD (November 26, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000002SE1
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,707 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anton Zimmerling VINE VOICE on July 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This anthology contains popular (Widor's Toccata in F, CD II, track 6) and ubiquitous (Toccata & Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, - CD I, track 1) organ pieces by J.S.Bach, Franck and Widor, but is remarkable for the quality of the performance and for the name of the performer - legendary organ virtuoso Fernando Germani. The EMI budget `Double Forte' series normally does not contain pictures of performers, and this is regrettable, since the reviewed 2-CD set actually is an ArkivMusic reissue made because of Germani's "big name".

The recordings on this anthology were made in 1959 (CD I, tracks 1-3, CD II, track 6), 1961 (CD II, tracks 1-5) and 1964 (CD I, tracks 4-9), when maestro Germani was 53, 55 and 58 years. He is in excellent shape, though it were nice to reissue his earlier mono recordings from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s which for the most part are OOP and do not show up on amazon.com.
Germani's interpretations are characterized by big lines, varied dynamics and rhythmical intensity. At his best, he is immense and powerful. His sound is rich yet clear: you never get a sound mess or sterile dry tones by him. His pedaling immediately grasps the ear, as in the beginning of Franck's 3rd Chorale in A minor (CD II, track 3), in Bach's C minor Passacaglia and Widor's Toccata. The high points of the reviewed collection are:

X.1959 Bach and Widor recordings (organ of the Royal Festival Hall): Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564 (CD I, track 2), Widor's Toccata from Symphony No. 5 (CD II, track 6). The Toccata and Adagio from BWV 564 are especially impressive. Widor's Toccata under Germani's hands (and feet) is a big hit: the theme starting in high treble gradually goes over to other voices and finally appears in the bass (CDII, track 6, ca. 3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John C. Ervin on January 7, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I heard Germani's performance of the Toccata from the 5th Organ Symphony by Widor over 40 years ago when I was in my teens and first studying classical piano through the head of the piano department at UCI, Arnold Juda, whose keyboard genius was a contagion of inspiration for anyone who knew him, or heard him. As I was immersed in all that, I will always remember my first hearing, and luckily recording my own copy on a cassette boombox during the broadcast, Germani's astoundingly rich and perfectly executed Widor Toccata. I took the tape with me when I relocated to Paris, France, during a time when I was a weekly auditor of Jean-Pierre Cochereau's unforgettable improvisations after Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, sometimes almost an hour long (try to get away with that at "most" U.S. places of worship: the smart money says it gets truncated by the janitor!). But the Germani tape, even on my less than stellar but adequate equipment, was a spiritual companion for many years. And to this day it has always stood my hair straight up and brought to mind the line by French Catholic novelist Leon Bloy (a contemporary and no doubt a neighbor of Widor in Paris, and St. Sulpice): "Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God." He must have been thinking of this kind...

And Germani's tour of the Widor was just that Godly. (I mentioned it once to the head of a music department at a university here and he snipped, "Germani: have sforzando pedal, will travel." Well, I've heard that kind of uncomprehending reaction to other geniuses, simply reminding me of the great putdown by Einstein, "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.")

Germani's renditions are whole worlds apart from mediocre, and breath-takingly closer to the greatest of spirits.
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