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Sinfini Music, June 2015

A live recording from Philadelphia of the concert that inaugurated Verizon Hall’s new organ—including a barnstorming performance of Samuel Barber’s rollercoaster Toccata Festiva played by Notre Dame Paris organist Olivier Latry. © 2015 Sinfini Music

Penguin Guide, January 2009

Toccata Festiva was written in 1960 in response to a commission to celebrate the new organ for the Academy of Music, then the Philadelphia Orchestra’s home. It offers some attractive writing in the Barber tradition, with exciting and impressive organ fireworks…an enjoyable novelty. This live performance could hardly be bettered and the sound…is very full and vivid.

Andrew Quint
Fanfare, November 2007

Olivier Latry, titulaire at Notre Dame, was the extremely able soloist for the Poulenc and Barber pieces, and he showed off the new Dobson organ to wonderful effect in the Saint-Saëns Third. The rich and powerful sound of the Dobson is well represented on this SACD and the disc is especially involving if you do multichannel.

To read the complete review, please visit Fanfare online.

Arthur Lintgen
Fanfare, July 2007

This SACD presents the principal works included in the inaugural concert of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall. In live performance, the instrument has the warmest and most innately beautiful tone I have ever heard from an organ anywhere; and in Verizon Hall its effortless power is clearly apparent but not at all overbearing to the listener. This recording is truly amazing in the way the engineers have captured that luscious, live sound. The mid and upper registers are rich and warm, but the bass will make your jaw drop. It literally shakes the floor in my listening room.

The performances will be a little more controversial, but work well for the most part. Barber’s Toccata festiva is an extravagant, unmitigated showpiece that has a long history with the Philadelphia Orchestra… It is a celebratory piece designed initially to showcase another new organ. When you combine the brilliant, virtuosic demands on the soloist with Barber’s irrepressible, lyrical gift, the result is a highly dramatic and easily accessible work for organ and orchestra. Eschenbach, Latry, and the orchestra play it to the hilt without sounding excessively bombastic. © 2007 Fanfare Read complete review

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