Leaving aside the six Messiaen albums entrusted to Louis Thiry, André Isoir recorded the remaining twenty-four LPs in a trajectory leading from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Nearly twenty of these titles survey the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and it is these that are now reissued here. André Isoir evokes here his memories of this extraordinary undertaking.
While a certain universality guided the language of organ music in Europe until the late sixteenth century, nurtured on polyphony and transcriptions of vocal repertory, on free preludes or fantasias, the French school began to go its own way in the course of the following decades. It developed in the service of the Roman Catholic Church, in a context where plainchant retained great resonance, while the dominance of colour and a kind of intoxication with timbre resulted from techniques of instrument building that anticipated the tendencies of the repertory itself. From Titelouze to Dandrieu, the programmes presented here bear witness to the constancy of these factors throughout one of the most prosperous periods for French organ music, which coincides almost exactly with the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV.