It gives me great pleasure to review organist Daniel Brondel’s 2012 CD release, ‘The Glory of the Organ’ (Jav Recordings).
I began listening to this disc back in September on my home stereo, and then later in my car while on tour.
This is extremely high caliber music played by a serious musician, who has full understanding of musical form and analysis.
I wanted to give it several listenings before writing about it.
It was recorded at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, and the microphones were boldly placed to showcase the grandeur of the organ.
How nice it is to have a professional recording of such mainstream numbers as David Johnson’s ‘Trumpet tune in D’ and Henry Purcell’s ‘Trumpet Tune and Air.’
I know these well from live performances, but this is my first experience to hear them on CD.
Both are played with enthusiasm, and he is able to make the joie de vivre of the music come through.
But it is the ‘Apparation de l’Englise eternelle’ by French composer Olivier Messiaen that makes me want to listen over and over.
Messiaen’s music is larger than life — I heard his orchestral music in 2008 at the New York Philharmonic.
This was a first time for me, and my initial response was that this music can ONLY work live.
Brondel’s execution is well-nigh faultless, and he performs this very deep work with great conviction. When heard on a good sound system, this recording is the next best thing to a live performance. It is indeed a tour de force.
Brondel, who is fluent in three languages, and is a thinking musician, has further distinguished himself with a deep understanding and appreciation of the human voice.
His knowledge of the voice is highly evident in this recording, which is a must have.
I plan to write about the other pieces when my tour is finished.