This extraordinary double Hybrid SACD (2 hrs and 40 min playing time) offers two world premieres: rediscovered organ works by Edouard Batiste (1820-1876) played on an impressive 4-manual French symphonic organ (1857) that had never been recorded before: the Merklin & Schütze organ of Murcia Cathedral (Spain).
Edouard Batiste who was called an “organ tamer” was one of the most famous French virtuosos in the 19th century. He worked as an advisor for the Merklin & Schütze organ company and inaugurated many of their new instruments. He himself was titular organist of Saint-Eustache in Paris and composed his organ music for the Ducroquet organ (1854) in that church.
When Diego Innocenzi came up with the idea of recording Edouard Batiste for Aeolus, they had heard that the organ of Murcia cathedral, which had been unplayable for over 30 years, had just been restored. As this instrument is almost contemporary to the Ducroquet organ, they decided to do their recordings here and were absolutely overwhelmed by the results: they have been able to realize exactly the registrations Batiste requested for his music! The sound of this instrument is absolutely fantastic and impressive and the cathedral has wonderful acoustics.
Whereas the first SACD contains offertoires, communions and elevations, second presents transcriptions of movements from several Beethoven Symphonies!
Diego Innocenzi, titular organist of the Van den Heuvel organ of the Victoria Hall in Geneva, is well known to Aeolus’ customers: he already performs on the two highly recommended albums with music for voice and organ by César Franck. His performances of Batiste music are absolutely stirring and convincing.
Don’t miss this double album: beautiful unknown repertoire and a stunning instrument that has never been recorded before.
Photos of the Merklin & Schutze organ (1857)
photos by Christoph Frommen