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BACH – ISOIR // Organ Transcriptions

François Espinasse, Michel Bouvard,

These Bach transcriptions for solo organ by André Isoir take us from the church to the Collegium Musicum, from the Sinfonia of the Cantata BWV 129 to the Concerto for four harpsichords, shedding new light on some of the Kantor’s most famous pieces.


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The performances by Michel Bouvard and François Espinasse constitute a musical tribute by the two artists, professors at the Conservatoires Nationaux Supérieurs de Musique of Paris and Lyon, to their former teacher.


  • Cantata BWV 29, Sinfonia in D major 4’03
  • Overture (Orchestral Suite) no.3 BWV 1068 – Aria 4’51
  • Cantata BWV 169, Alto aria 5’14
  • Cantata BWV 4, Tenor aria 2’24
  • Sonata I in G minor for unaccompanied violin BWV 1001 3’28
  • Prelude and Fugue in D minor / en ré mineur BWV 539 – Fugue 5’44
  • Cantata BWV 68, Soprano aria 4’01
  • Cantata BWV 208, Soprano aria 4’47
  • Cantata BWV 106, Sonatina 2’55
  • Concerto in C minor for two harpsichords and orchestra BWV 1060 4’12
  • Missa in F major BWV 233 – Quoniam 5’04
  • Choral Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645 with continuo by André Isoir 4’36
  • Cantata BWV 202, Soprano aria 3’19
  • Concerto in A minor for four harpsichords and orchestra BWV 1065 (after Vivaldi) – Allegro 4’24
  • Concerto in A minor for four harpsichords and orchestra BWV 1065 (after Vivaldi) – Largo 2’17
  • Concerto in A minor for four harpsichords and orchestra BWV 1065 (after Vivaldi) – Allegro 3’52


Michel Bouvard


Over the past thirty years, Michel Bouvard has enjoyed a remarkable double career as concert artist and professor of organ. Recognized internationally as one of the most engaging French interpreters, he is regularly invited to perform upon the most beautiful historic organs throughout Europe, as well as in the great concert halls of Asia and prominent venues of North America. He has given more than 1000 concerts in more than 25 countries.


Michel Bouvard is indebted to his grandfather, organist and composer Jean Bouvard, student of Louis Vierne, for inspiring in him in his vocation. Michel received his early training at the Paris Conservatory (musicianship classes), while studying organ and improvisation in the classe of André Isoir. He also studied with the renowned organists of St. Severin in Paris: Jean Boyer, Francis Chapelet, and Michel Chapuis. In 1983, he won the first prize in the international organ competition of Toulouse, marking the début of his career. Called by Xavier Darasse to succeed him in the direction of the organ class at the Toulouse Conservatory in 1985, he pursued Darasse’s vision of partnership and collaboration with the city and region by organizing concerts, organ tours, master-classes, and the international organ competition with colleague Jan Willem Jansen. These efforts culminated in 1996 in the creation of the international organ festival Toulouse les Orgues.


Michel Bouvard was also professor of organ at the CNSM of Paris from 1995 to 2021, together with his friend Olivier Latry. For more than 25 years, the two have developed an original pedagogical collaboration that has attracted students from all over the world to Paris. In 2013, he was invited to join the organ faculty of the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, New York, as a professor in residence for the fall semester. He will complete teaching residencies at Yale University in November 2015, and at the National University of the Arts in Tokyo in 2016.


Michel Bouvard has been the titular organist of the renowned Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Romanesque Basilica of St. Sernin in Toulouse since 1996. In 2010, he was named of the four principal organists of the Chapel Royal at the Château in Versailles.


François Espinasse


François Espinasse was born in 1961. He studied under Xavier Darasse at the Conservatoire de Toulouse. In 1980 he was awarded the Premier Prix for the organ, and the next year he went on to post graduate studies under André Isoir. He was a prizewinner at international competitions in Toulouse (‘contemporary music’ category, 1986) and Musashino (Japan, 1988).

François Espinasse is co-titular organist at the Église Saint-Séverin in Paris; he also teaches at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon and is a member of the National Commission for the Preservation of Historic Monuments (organ department). In 2010 hewas appointedOrganist par quartier of the Chapelle Royale at Versailles Palace alongside his colleagues Michel Bouvard, Frédéric Desenclos and Jean-Baptiste Robin.

As a concert musician and guest teacher, François Espinasse has visited more than twenty countries. Moreover, he also sits on the juries of several international organ competitions.

His recordings never fail to draw glowing praise from the critics. A passionate exponent of contemporary music, Espinasse frequently premieres works by living composers.

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