Wayne Marshall, concert organist, pianist, and conductor, brings his first Organ masterpiece to Base2 Music. The central piece is Marcel Dupré’s Passion Symphony. Plus, music from Messiaen, Schmidt, Baker, Villette and Widor.
This is a Pure DSD release from the Organ Music specialists at Base2 Music. Recorded in Stereo DSD 128, it has been transferred to all DSD Bit Rates in the DSD Domain by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab using the Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro Mastering Tools.
The same spiritual force that drove Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) to first improvise and then write down his Passion Symphony (or Symphonie Passion, Opus 23) serves as muse for English organist and composer Wayne Marshall (b. 1961). Marshall’s focus on Dupré as a centerpiece for this recording helps illustrate how the French organ tradition evolved during the latter half of the 19th century and into the 20th. His artistry then helps preserve this tradition with painstaking reverence, but more importantly taps into its lingering power with new momentum on a new instrument.
In fact, this is the first commercial recording on this instrument. Inaugurated in 2016, the Mascioni organ inside the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, Portugal, has everything that invites inspired artists to explore the sacred side of organ music. Naturally, this helps give older, familiar works new context and meaning while championing more recent composers too.
Wayne Marshall – Organ
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:29:14
Vivid Audio UK / Base2 facilities
Sennheiser MKH8020 Omni
None – direct input.
|Original Recording Format
Recorded 27 – 29 May 2019. Fátima, Santuário de Fátima, Portugal
|Recording Type & Bit Rate
Vivid Audio Giya 2 and 1
|May 22, 2020
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.
The central piece is Marcel Dupré’s Passion Symphony, accompanied music from Messiaen, Schmidt, Baker, Villette and Widor. All of this is performed on the fabulous Mascioni organ in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal. This is the first commercial recording on this instrument following a complete renovation of the sanctuary and the original 1952 Ruffati organ which had lain silent for several years. Mascioni was chosen to rebuild it, maintaining some part of the original pipework and the console cabinet. The organ is the largest instrument in Portugal, with more than 6500 pipes.
If you enjoy large scale organs that can be played with power, you will enjoy this recording. I certainly am enjoying it. And if you can play the multichannel release, I suspect the 12-second reverberation time and the echo organs captured in the rear channels will be a treat to hear.
There is no doubt in my mind that Base2 music production have now become prime purveyors of bespoke organ music, fitting organ buffs with music of superior quality that clearly stands out from the rest.
This time it is Wayne Marshall, pianist, organist and conductor, who pulls the stops. Well, metaphorically spoken that is, as this ultra-modern organ functions with rows of neatly marked dip switches (stop tabs or set buttons) on either side of the 5-manuals console.
Wayne’s ambitious tastes run high and far. The Passion Symphony is not for beginners. It is the fruit of one of the best French improvisers at the organ.
My first impression was one of being completely overwhelmed. As suggested in the technical notes, I had put my volume up more than usual. The neighbourhood must have been glad that there are more than six acres of land around my listening position. Although most probably not as voluminous as Wannaker’s, the sheer sound production as recorded by Base2 Music is not only most impressive but also without any audible hint of distortion.
To use all the facilities and combinations at his disposal, Marshall did not leave any stop untouched, so it seemed to me, enabling him to make personal choices. Nervously powerful, yet smooth and at times soft-edged. Whether or not Dupré is your cup of tea, respect will grow by the minute for the ingenuity of the composition and the compelling commitment of the interpreter, creating a world full of spiritual inspirations that correspond so well with the holy sentiments of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fàtima.
Wayne did not forget to cater for the (semi-) old guard with the inclusion of the Variations and Fugue on a Theme of the King’s Fanfare, written by Franz Schmidt, a late romantic Austro-Hungarian composer born in Pressburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia) and, to further demonstrate the versatility of the organ, typical contemporary French works by Pierre Villette, and, not to forget, Olivier Messiaen, with which the concert opens.
Of course, this Mascioni organ still is a young instrument, and beautiful though it is, it would need more players of the kind of Wayne Marshall, to give it its proper soul. In the meantime, and for those who want to spread their wings wider than the standard repertoire, this is another winner from Base2 Music Production to enjoy.
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