The Art of Pierre Cochereau

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LABEL: Decca
RELEASE DATE: 19/07/2019
6 CD

The first records of organs at Notre-Dame de Paris date to 1198, with small portatives placed in the choir. Records exist from 1357 of a stationary organ suspended in a small gallery at the eastern end of the nave but by the end of the century it was in such poor condition that a new organ was erected on the narrow tribune above the doors at the west end of the nave.

Pierre Cochereau, it can be said, restored Notre-Dame to its rightful place as the undisputed ‘grand fromage’ of French church music following years in the doldrums after the death of Louis Vierne in 1937. His penchant for gothic gesture – evocative and always a perfect fit for Notre-Dame’s instrument and acoustic – and his reconciling of the French romantic organ sound with the pillars of Bach’s organ repertory distinguished him as ‘a phenomenon without equal in the history of the contemporary organ’ as his teacher Marcel Dupré was to remark.

It is doubtless as an improvisor that Cochereau’s musical legacy is most important where he takes the ephemeral tradition of the French organ school to its apogee. This collection spans the breadth of Cochereau’s vast repertoire and includes two discs of improvisations.


1. J.S. Bach:Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565:1. Toccata

2. J.S. Bach:Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565:2. Fugue

3. J.S. Bach:Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 538 "Dorian":1. Prelude (Toccata)

4. J.S. Bach:Toccata (Prelude) and Fugue in F, BWV 540:1. Toccata

5. Frescobaldi:Il Primo Libro di Toccate, F 2:12. Toccata duodecima, F 2.12

6. Froberger:Toccata 19 in D Minor, FbWV 119

7. Pachelbel:Toccata in G Minor, P.468

8. Muffat:Apparatus Musico-Organisticus:11. Toccata undecima in C Minor

9. Widor:Symphonie pour orgue No. 5, Op. 42 No. 1:5. Toccata

10. Giroud:Toccata pour l'Elévation

11. Vierne:Organ Symphony No.4, Op.32 in G Minor:1. Prélude (Toccata)

12. Gigout:10 Pieces for Organ:4. Toccata in B Minor


1. J.S. Bach:Prelude (Fantasy) and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542 - "Great":1. Fantasy

2. J.S. Bach:Prelude (Fantasy) and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542 - "Great":2. Fugue

3. J.S. Bach:18 Leipzig Chorale preludes:Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659

4. J.S. Bach:Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582:1. Passacaglia

5. J.S. Bach:Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582:2. Fugue

6. J.S. Bach:Clavier-Übung III / Chorale preludes BWV 669-689:Wir glauben all' an einen Gott, BWV 680

7. J.S. Bach:6 Choräle von verschiedener Art, BWV 645-650:1. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645, in E-Flat Major

8. J.S. Bach:Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C Major, BWV 564:1. Toccata

9. J.S. Bach:Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C Major, BWV 564:2. Adagio

10. J.S. Bach:Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C Major, BWV 564:3. Fugue

11. Boëllmann:Suite gothique, Op. 25:1. Introduction-Choral

12. Boëllmann:Suite gothique, Op. 25:2. Menuet gothique

13. Boëllmann:Suite gothique, Op.25:3. Prière à Notre-Dame

14. Boëllmann:Suite gothique, Op. 25:4. Toccata


1. Liszt:Missa pro organo lectarum celebrationi missarum adjumento inserviens, S.264

2. Brahms:11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122:Mein Jesu, der du mich

3. Brahms:11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122:O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen

4. Brahms:11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122:Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen

5. Brahms:11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122:Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen

6. Brahms:11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122:Herzlich tut mich verlangen

7. Brahms:11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122:O Welt, ich muss dich lassen

8. Mozart:Fantasy in F Minor, K.608

9. Mozart:Fantasy in F Minor, K.594

10. Mozart:Andante in F Major, K.616


1. Franck:Trois Pièces pour Grand Orgue:3. Pièce héroïque (Allegro maestoso) in B Minor, FWV 37

2. Franck:3 Chorals pour Orgue:No. 2 in B Minor, FWV 39

3. Franck:Trois Pièces pour Grand Orgue:2. Cantabile (Non troppo lento) in B Major, FWV 36

4. Messiaen:La Nativité du Seigneur:2. Les bergers

5. Messiaen:La Nativité du Seigneur:3. Desseins éternels

6. Messiaen:La Nativité du Seigneur:7. Jésus accepte la souffrance

7. Messiaen:La Nativité du Seigneur:8. Les mages

8. Messiaen:La Nativité du Seigneur:9. Dieu parmi nous

9. Messiaen:Le banquet celeste

10. Messiaen:Apparition de l'Église éternelle


1. Messiaen:Apparition de l'Église éternelle

2. Traditional, Cochereau:Variations sur "Frère Jacques"

3. Cochereau:Suite à la francaise

4. Traditional, Cochereau:Improvisations sur "Alouette, gentille alouette"


1. Cochereau:Symphonie en improvisation:1. Agité

2. Cochereau:Symphonie en improvisation:2. Scherzo

3. Cochereau:Symphonie en improvisation:3. Lent

4. Cochereau:Symphonie en improvisation:4. Final

5. Cochereau:Treize improvisations sur les versets de Vêpres

6. Cochereau:Berceuse à la mémoire de Louis Vierne

7. Widor:Symphony No.9 in C Minor for Organ, "Gothique", Op.70:4. Finale: Moderato - Allegro - Moderato - Andante – Allegro

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