Olivier Latry’s Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon (10CD and Blu-ray audio disc edition) has been released to celebrate the 60th birthday (on 22 February 2022) of one of the most distinguished and esteemed organists in the world.
Includes Olivier Latry’s recordings of Messiaen’s complete organ works
Olivier Latry’s Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon includes his benchmark recordings of Olivier Messiaen’s complete organ works, In Spiritum (“This ‘spiritual journey’ could not be piloted by a more sympathetic guide” – Gramophone), Midnight at Notre-Dame, (“A reminder of just how electrifying an organ concert on CD can be…The sound is ideal” – ClassicsToday), as well as one disc of previously unreleased recordings from the In Spiritum and Midnight At Notre-Dame sessions and one disc of Latry’s recordings for Decca France.
The blu-ray audio disc includes In Spiritum, Midnight at Notre-Dame and the previously unreleased recordings (CDs 1-3) and presents them in 96 kHz/24-bit stereo / 5.1 Surround 96 kHz/24-bit and in Dolby Atmos 48kHz/24-bit. The booklet notes include an updated history of the Notre-Dame organ by Olivier Latry.
“I regard my musical calling as a mission”
Olivier Latry became titular organist of the Great Organ of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1985 when he was just twenty-three, succeeding such luminaries as Louis Vierne and Pierre Cochereau. He noted, “I regard my musical calling as a mission that I hope to fulfil to the very best of my abilities by mediating between two worlds, the real and the spiritual. In my eyes (and ears) the organ represents the breath of God.”
Olivier Latry regards himself as an ambassador for French organ repertoire which has been demonstrated not least by his devotion to the music of Olivier Messiaen and in 2002, to mark the tenth anniversary of the composer’s death, Latry recorded the complete works of Messiaen on the great Cavaillé-Coll organ of Notre-Dame. His subsequent albums for Deutsche Grammophon included a disc of transcriptions mostly by French musicians of works by composers from Mozart to Prokofiev, in 2004, and organ music by César Franck, in 2005, both recorded in Notre-Dame.
Concurrent to presiding over the liturgical services at Notre-Dame for over three decades he has appeared in more than fifty countries and on all five continents, as an ambassador for the organ, as a recitalist or with major orchestras under the direction of renowned conductors.
Olivier Latry has a high opinion of the musicality and versatility of the Notre-Dame organ, which has been expanded and its possibilities extended a number of times since Cavaillé-Coll’s instrument was inaugurated in 1868, allowing it to encompass every style. He noted, “This instrument is situated halfway between heaven and earth on the cathedral’s west wall, projecting the sound that it produces out into the building beneath the vaulted roof as if it were a musical extension of the medieval rose window and the interplay of colours above it.”
Today, the Notre-Dame organ, which remains largely undamaged by the devasting 2019 fire, represents a balance between the surviving elements of the eighteenth century instrument, the sound world of Cavaillé-Coll and the innovations of our own age, yet its soul is still essentially that of a Romantic, symphonic organ reflecting an aesthetic in which the spirit precedes the letter.
Celebrates the distinguished organist’s 60th birthday
This edition of Olivier Latry’s Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon marks the distinguished organist’s 60th birthday (22 February) as well as the 30th anniversary of the death of Olivier Messiaen (27 April), and the bicentenary of the birth of César Franck (10 December).
Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen said, “Olivier Messiaen talked about Olivier Latry as ‘the new Marcel Dupré’. Interpreter, improviser, teacher; his qualities are manifold. His virtuosity, the immensity of his repertoire, his knowledge of all styles. It is difficult to choose what to admire most! Olivier Latry is a master with hands of light, who can restore all the love, the joy and the colours Olivier Messiaen lays into his music.”
Buy or stream Olivier Latry’s Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon here.