10 Aaron TanDe la lumiere aux étoiles
Aaron Tan
ATMA ACD2 2872 (atmaclassique.com/en)

There are different kinds of organ music recordings, ranging from the silly to the serious and everything in between, but it is rare to find one that is both serious and fun at the same time. Canadian organist Aaron Tan’s De la lumiere aux étoiles is just that, however, presenting serious music that is also great fun to listen to, performed at the highest level. Winner of the 2021 Canadian International Organ Competition, Tan is a multi-faceted individual, holding a PhD. in Materials Science from the University of Michigan and currently pursuing a doctorate in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music. 

Consisting of French (and French-inspired) works, this disc is a wonderful exploration of the organ and its capabilities, with music by Karg-Elert, Demessieux, Canadian composer Rachel Laurin and Louis Vierne, among others. This disc begins with Fernando Germani’s Toccata, Op.12, a joyfully busy piece that erupts into a final ecstatic outburst, and ends with Vierne’s glorious Final from his fifth Organ Symphony, one of the composer’s most joyous and thrilling final movements.

Other highlights include the endlessly quirky Sigfrid Karg-Elert’s Phantasie und Fuge, Op.39b and Laurin’s Poème symphonique pour le temps de l’Avent, each of which displays the organ of the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, located in Guelph, at its absolute best. Manufactured by the Casavant Frères firm of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec in 1919, this organ features a French Romantic design, including a French terrace console, as seen at the great organs of France.

The organ is a temperamental instrument; some need a performer to tame them, while others need a kind and nurturing hand. Either way, when the right performer and instrument are matched together, extraordinary music can be made, such as that found on this brilliant recording.

Pin It

Back to top