Cesar Franck (2017)


Jean-Paul Imbert

Organ works by César Franck is the first album from Base2 Music at NativeDSD.  It features Jean-Paul Imbert on the Cavaillé-Coll organ of St Etienne, in Caen, France.
The album was produced and recorded by Jake Purches on a modified Revox B77 Analog Tape Recorder on RTM tape with custom head amplifiers by world famous tape recording engineer Tim de Paravacini. The recorder was specially built for this album.
The Analog edition of the album, transferred to DSD for our listeners and exclusively available from NativeDSD, uses a different microphone set up than the earlier version of this album.  It was co-recorded with the digital recording but is electronically independent. The stereo microphone pair on this edition of the album is from the Sennheiser MKH8020 series. 
The album is a nice partner to one of our DSD Best Selling Albums, the recently released album Bach: Inside Polyphony – Sennheiser Special Edition from 2L, also recorded with MKH series microphones from Sennheiser.
  • Exclusively Available in DSD at NativeDSD
  • First DSD release from Base2 Music
Read more

Jean-Paul Imbert

Born in Clermont-Ferrand, in 1942, Jean-Paul Imbert studied piano and organ, and at the age of 15 he becomes the holder of the organ in the church of St. Joan of Arc. He organizes regular concerts. Student in Paris from 1962 to 1965 his teachers were Pierre Cochereau of Notre Dame Cathedral and Jean Guillou of St Eustache Cathedral.

In 1971 he became deputy to the great organ of Saint-Eustache and remained until 1993. During this long period, including that or restoration of the instrument has reduced it to silence, from 1977 to 1989, he frequently accompanied the “Singers of Saint-Eustache” directed by Father Émile Martin to the choir organ for some offices and travel for frequent concerts.

At the official inauguration of the restored organ, in 1989, it was he who accompanied the choir and the blessing of improvised verses and it provides one of the first major recitals few days later. In 1988 he had the honor to play at the opening concert of the World Congress of Organists on the great organ of Kings College, Cambridge.

In 1993 he was appointed organ Kleuker the holder of Our Lady of the Snows of Alpe d’Huez and responsible for organizing concerts where renowned organists will produce from around the world. Since 1988, he conducts summer camps for choir, under the direction of Christian Ciuca, pan flute virtuoso with the Romanian Cornel Pana and organ where he teaches personally.

From 1997 to 2006 he held the organ of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Paris, and helped make this magnificent instrument of contemporary style by organizing a large series of concerts under the title “organ duet” and at its official opening with the Schola Cantorum orchestra in September 2004.

He leads a triple concert activity : France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Russia, England…, professor at the Schola Cantorum in Paris and in various internships in France and Germany, and liturgical organist.

In addition to his solo concerts, he frequently with the musicians of the Ensemble Intrumental of Paris and the Jubilate Choir, directed by Christian Ciuca. Prof Imbert has over 10 recordings to his name. 

In 2004, he was named Knight of Arts and Letters and in 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Officer of Arts and Letters by the Minister of Culture.


Photo © Jake Purches 2018

Read more

Cesar Franck (2017)


Jean-Paul Imbert

    HRAudio.net -

There are many excellent recordings of César Frank’s organ compositions, but unless they have been performed on a Cavaillé-Coll Symphonic organ they will not fully restitute what the composer had in mind. Jean-Paul Imbert does. Performance: 5 stars | Sonics (Stereo): 4.5 stars | Sonics (Multichannel): 5 stars

Adrian Quanjer[read full review]

    Organ News NL

Base2 Music is a new record label based in the UK for the audiophile. Dedicated to capturing the sound of pipe organs in top quality. Their first album is by Jean-Paul Imbert with a Franck program on the Cavaille-Coll Organ (1884) of the St. Etienne in Caen. Imbert has made some great albums in Toulouse but also in Caen. Jean-Paul Imbert puts down an impressive, driven Franck. With his musical playing, he transcends all kinds of discussions about tempi and registrations. Imbert does allow himself some freedoms, without falling into the frills as Guillou and Pincemaille have done. With the Chorals, he chooses the order II - III- I, but as a listener, you can, of course, manipulate that. The organ of the St. Etienne in Caen is among the top five of what the Cavaille-Coll genius has left us. What an instrument! Marie-Claire Alain also recorded for Erato Franck here in 1996 (almost complete). This instrument is one of those organs that you will never have enough recordings at home. And then the recording, because that is what it all started with this issue. Is it indeed something special? Yes, it is an experience. Even without using the equipment recommended for this recording, it is really enjoyable. To hear a Cavaille Coll that is as pure as if you were in St. Etienne. I can imagine that some people will find the sound a bit too direct. But the creamy sound of this Cavaille-Coll, wow! If you want to hear a fresh Franck on an organ from Cavaille-Coll and that has been recorded so well. That listener will want to buy this album and this supports the very laudable initiative of Base2 Music - recording beautiful organs in exceptional quality. Keep up the good work!

Arjen Van Kralingen[read full review]

    NativeDSD Listener

Very impressive. My listening room filled with the very deep bass that you captured without rattling any furniture, but definitely giving my body cavity a good shake. The richness of the sound of the instrument was also captured well. Nice balance also.

Larry Toy

Cesar Franck (2017)


Jean-Paul Imbert

Analog Recording Equipment: Revox B77 on RTM tape with custom head amplifiers by Tim de Paravacini
Cables: Gekko cables with pure silver conductors
Mastering Engineer: Jake Purches - Analog to DSD 128 Transfer, May 2019
Microphones: Sennheiser MKH8020 Series microphones
Monitoring Room: Stax Electrostatic Headphones, Trilogy H1 valve amplifier, and Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit full range loudspeakers
Noise Reduction: Paravacini Improved Dolby A System
Producer: Jake Purches
Recording Engineer: Jake Purches
Recording Location: Abbaye St. Etienne, Caen, Normandy, France on the Cavaillé-Coll organ of St Etienne, on July 12-13, 2017
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog
Speakers: Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit full range loudspeakers

Quality & Channel Selection
Select Quality and Channels to calculate the price below More info



With an active NativeDSD Plus Subscription you have access to all lower DSD rates after purchase. Learn more.
Album Download duration price
Base204: Cesar Franck
00:53:28   Select quality & channels above
3 Pieces for Organ, FWV 36 - II. Cantabile, B Major
00:04:35   N/A
6 Pieces for Organ, FWV 30 - IV. Prelude, Fugue and Variations, B Minor
00:08:49   N/A
Andantino for Organ in G Minor, FWV 25
00:05:01   N/A
3 Chorales for Organ, FWV 39 - II. Choral, B Minor
00:11:19   N/A
Fantasy in A Major, FWV 35
00:10:35   N/A
3 Chorales for Organ, FWV 38 - I. Choral, E Major
00:13:09   N/A

Connected Albums

User Reviews

Other albums from this label