From Analog Tape

Cesar Franck

Jean-Paul Imbert

(4 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: Analog Tape
Learn about choosing Quality and Channels

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


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
3 Pieces for Organ, FWV 36 - II. Cantabile, B Major
6 Pieces for Organ, FWV 30 - IV. Prelude, Fugue and Variations, B Minor
Andantino for Organ in G Minor, FWV 25
3 Chorales for Organ, FWV 39 - II. Choral, B Minor
Fantasy in A Major, FWV 35
3 Chorales for Organ, FWV 38 - I. Choral, E Major

Total time: 00:53:28

Additional information





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Analog Recording Equipment

Revox B77 on RTM tape with custom head amplifiers by Tim de Paravacini


Gekko cables with pure silver conductors

Mastering Engineer

Jake Purches – Analog to DSD 128 Transfer, May 2019


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


Original Recording Format


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



Vivid Audio Giya G1 Spirit full range loudspeakers

Release DateJune 7, 2019

Press reviews

Positive Feedback

Base2 Music, located in West Sussex, UK, is a fairly new label, founded in 2017 by owner, producer and recording engineer, Jake Purches. Jake captured my attention because he’s been focusing on a love of mine: well recorded organ music on some of the great organs around the world with internationally respected musicians. A fellow self-described audiophile and music lover, Jake is committed to creating recordings of excellence using well-chosen venues with state of the art equipment and carefully selected microphones. His multi-channel surround and stereo recordings use no compression and no gating of frequency response. The albums he’s released thus far are the real deal for lovers of pipe organs.

There is something very special about listening to César Franck’s music performed on a Cavaillé-Coll organ. The timbre of a Cavaillé-Coll is simply unique. The performances by Jean-Paul Imbert are impressive—well judged and very persuasive. And when as well recorded as in this release by Jake Purches, the combination is pure pleasure.

If you’ve not heard the organ works of Cesar Franck played on a Cavaillé-Coll organ, you’ve not heard those works. This album, performed by Jean-Paul Imbert on the Cavaillé-Coll organ of St Etienne, in Caen, France, will solve this woeful gap in your listening experience. The organ of St. Etienne in Caen is among the top five Cavaillé-Coll organs left to us—and what an instrument! Marie-Claire Alain also recorded many of Cesar Franck’s works for organ here in 1996 for Erato. That is a wonderful set on vinyl.

This was recorded on a modified Revox B77 Analog Tape Recorder at 15ips with custom head amplifiers by the late Tim de Paravacini, using a stereo of Sennheiser MKH8020 microphones, and then transferred to DSD128 for this release. For those of you able to play this recording at full volume and with full frequency extension are in for a treat! 5 out of 5

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

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!

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.


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