Jean Langlais Works for Organ
This is one of Nimbus's best organ recordings.
Kevin Bowyer's recordings for Nimbus have bequeathed to posterity around 50 almost without exception memorable CDs. Bowyer is deeply familiar with the great French contemporaries of Jean Langlais, and their precursors, having learnt as a student the organ symphonies of Vierne, Widor and Dupré, and later recorded for Nimbus the organ works of Alkan and Alain.
The first two of Langlais' three Symphonies for organ are the focal points of Bowyer's recital on one of Canada's best instruments, built by Casavant in 1987 at the Jack Singer Hall in Calgary. The First Symphony is most easily summed up with the word 'monumental', and its sprawling-towering sound-world is in many ways typical of Langlais' organ writing: complex, tonally mysterious, exalted, agitated, virtuosic, inventive. Though both Symphonies are in four movements, the whole of the Second is shorter than any single movement of the First - hence the subtitle 'Alla Webern'. Yet the Second Symphony has similar attributes in an ultra-condensed form, with the added kick of serialist writing!