V1: Organ Works
Sensational organ transcriptions have made Jean Guillou famous far beyond his native France. His command not only of organ playing but also of the piano and composition is demonstrated by the absolutely boundless technical and intellectual demands posed by his oeuvre. In Zuzana Ferjenciková Guillou now has found more than just a worthy heir: the first volume in our series featuring Guillou’s organ works includes a recording premiere and reveals the profound emotional affinity uniting these two exceptional artists. Guillou’s op. 1 “Fantaisie” rightfully forms the beginning. Dedicated to his teacher Marcel Dupre, this first work by the young composer promised great things. Independence in spirit and a pronounced sense of sound along with fascinating virtuosity would also distinguish his later works: “Saya ou l’oiseau bleu,” born of an improvisation on a simple Korean motif, and “Hymnus” for the gigantic Cologne Cathedral exhibit other facets of this multifaceted composer. However, this time the focus is on Pictures at an Exhibition after Mussorgsky. It is not least through Ravel’s genial orchestral version that this cycle has continued to enjoy the greatest popularity over the years. Guillou far transcends Ravel, and now and again he allows himself compositional interventions: a linking piece here, a counterpoint there. In this way a completely new work is produced that also tonally is a virtuosic tour de force.