”Un organiste déjà si accompli, et dont on s'attend à avoir, dans l'avenir, de brillantes nouvelles.” Diapason; “A technical virtuosity and youthful panache that carries all before it.” American Record Guide
The French organ tradition is one of the strongest and proudest in all of 20th-century music, &&&to the point of forming a genre of its own. Standing on the shoulders of predecessors such as Franck and Widor and composing for instruments built in the glorious tradition of Cavaillé-Coll, a group of organist-composers created a number of works central to the organ literature; works which in spite of their great variety combine to form a highly characteristic repertoire. The young organist Pétur Sakari has gathered five such composers on his first disc for BIS, performing their music on the famous organ of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris. The five composers are all interconnected – Charles Tournemire and Louis Vierne studied together (under Franck), Maurice Duruflé studied under Tournemire and was Vierne’s assistant at Notre Dame, and Marcel Dupré counted Vierne (and Widor) among his teachers and himself taught Olivier Messiaen. And although Pétur Sakari hails from Finland, he is also to an extent part of this great tradition, as the student of Thierry Escaich and Vincent Warnier, successors of Duruflé and his wife Marie-Madeleine as organists of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. Sakari’s selection brings together key works such as the hugely taxing Prelude and Fugue in B major by Dupré, Vierne’s fantasy on the Bells of Westminster and Messiaen’s meditative and atmospheric Celestial Banquet. The opening work on the disc is Tournemire’s powerful improvisation on the Easter plain-chant Victimae paschali laudes, recorded in 1930 and later transcribed by Duruflé, whose own monumental Suite closes the recital. Throughout, Pétur Sakari – at the age of only 21 – gives proof of a mastery of the organ and a musicianship which promise great things to come.