Charles Tournemire: L'Orgue Mystique

Charles Tournemire: L'Orgue Mystique

SACD(Super Audio CD)

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Overview

Charles Tournemire's magnum opus is "L'Orgue Mystique," composed between 1927 and 1932 and consisting of 51 plainchant-based offices of five movements each for all but one of the services in the annual Catholic Church calendar. Organist and composer Sandro R. Müller has been steadily working since 1992 on a complete recorded edition of this important masterwork, which should run to 14-15 volumes when done. Through 2006, volumes 1-8 had appeared, but this is volume 14, presumably the last in the series -- apparently Cybele plans to release volumes 9-13 out of sequence. Although Müller has recorded his Tournemire cycle on several different organs -- all German ones -- this one is performed on the Great Jann Organ at the Stiftsbasilika in Waldsassen, where he has recorded a couple of the other volumes. It's a big organ, and Tournemire's music is scored very lightly, but this combination seems to work. The music is very smooth and calm, and Müller's interpretation points beyond the usual comparison from Tournemire's art to Messiaen and other members of the modern French organ school to its obvious resemblance to sacred minimalism and even to electronics, through Tournemire's combination of certain registrations and persistent use of exceedingly still, spare textures. Sandro R. Müller is a very interesting character -- once a student of Gerd Zacher, Müller was prematurely forced out of his study by external circumstances, and is technically a "dropout." He didn't establish a reputation as a musician until he began recording Tournemire, and almost immediately, Müller came under harsh criticism for daring to record Tournemire's music on German organs rather than the French nineteenth century instruments upon which these pieces were composed. However, this criticism wears rather thin when one listens; Tournemire was a mystic and foreshadowed many developments in the music of the future. The tradition of the instrument used is not the determinant factor in what one hears; the degree to which the mood Tournemire intends is sustained matters most. In a way, some of these movements, such as the "Communion" in the "Office No. 48," are reminiscent of the Georgian choral music employed by Werner Herzog in the film Nosferatu that was so beloved of the English band Joy Division; such passages are pregnant with a mysterious, low-key energy that is dark and rather tragic. The frequency range of this 5.1 Channel Surround Sound recording, as on Cybele's issues of Gerd Zacher, is terrific, with low pedal tones rattling the floorboards and high pitches seemingly floating in the stratosphere. Despite its belonging to a long series of recordings belonging to a single, rather obscure composer, Cybele's "Charles Tournemire: L'Orgue Mystique, Vol. 14 and its companion volumes should have an appeal that goes far beyond the relatively small audience of "organ nuts."

Product Details

Release Date: 01/02/2007
Label: Cybele
UPC: 0809548009328
catalogNumber: 5011
Rank: 104859

Tracks

  1. L'Orgue Mystique, Vol. 2, Immaculata Conceptio BMV
  2. Pâques (Dominica Resurrectionis), suite for organ (L'orgue mystique No. 17), Op. 56/6
  3. L'Orgue Mystique, Vol. 48, Festum Omnium Sanctorum

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