This is a 24-bit/44.1 kHz transcription using high-end analog equipment of performances by Pierre Guillot of works by Antoine-Edouard Batiste (1820-1876) and Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély (1817-1869), played on the organ built in 1848 by Nicolas-Antoine Lété for l'Eglise Abbatiale de Nantua. This is the same organ that was featured in an earlier 24-bit torrent, and is offered in response to all of those people who I'm sure were thinking: this guy can't upload just one torrent devoted to such a remarkable instrument, can he? These performances were recorded by Peter Willemoës and originally released on LP by Erato (STU 71049) in 1977.
Lété, together with the much more celebrated Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, contributed to the development of the French symphonic organ, and the Nantua organ exhibits an intriguing early form of those innovations. More even than later symphonic organs, the timbres of this organ remind me of early 20th century theater organs such as those made by Wurlitzer. Like those organs, its higher wind pressures produce more complex (and delightfully vulgar) timbres from single stops.
The influence of opera in Lefebure-Wely's works further aids the resemblance of these works to silent movie scores. The effect is less pronounced in Batiste's compositions, which are more dignified and sound to me like an earlier, simpler Louis Vierne. But they do offer ample opportunities to demonstrate the range of timbres possible on the instrument. For example, the Offertoire-Fantasie-Orage (Storm Fantasy) makes use of the Storm Pedal stop, and the Verset features the unusual Musette stop.
BTW, I'm delighted to report that Batiste, Lefébure-Wély, and Lété are all so obscure that not one of them merits even a brief article in my edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Yet maybe I'm just trivial, but I love this stuff and for sheer timbral enjoyment I'd put Lété's organ up against many of the Cavaillé-Coll organs I've heard.
The LP transcribed for this torrent is in excellent condition all around. I've included with this torrent the PDF file with scans of the extensive notes in French from the Harmonia Mundi LP featuring the same organ, including numerous pictures of the organ and its pipes, and a list of the organ's stops. The Erato notes are much shorter and relatively unrevealing--with no registrations, I'm afraid.
Equipment used for A/D conversion: Lyra Helikon phono cartridge, Linn LP12/Lingo turntable, Linn Ittok tonearm, Audioquest LeoPard tonearm cable, PS Audio PS2 preamplifier, Kimber PBJ interconnect, M-Audio Audiophile USB A/D converter.
01 - Batiste: Offertoire de Sainte Cécile in D, op. 8/2 [11:24]
02 - Batiste: Communion in A, op. 24/4 [2:48]
03 - Batiste: Élévation in a, op. 19/2 [4:58]
04 - Batiste: Offertoire in C, op. 24/2 [3:25]
05 - Batiste: Offertoire-Fantasie-Orage in c, op. 23/6 [9:59]
06 - Batiste: Verset in C, op. 24/12 [1:57]
07 - Lefebure-Wely: Romance sans paroles in F [2:39]
08 - Lefebure-Wely: Boléro de concert in g, op. 166 [5:08]
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, this recording is not currently available commercially. If you know otherwise, please let me know ASAP, as I do not wish any artists to be deprived of the royalties that they so richly deserve.