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LISZT // Inspirations

Olivier Latry,

As well as being the promoter of the piano recital and creator of the symphonic poem, Franz Liszt was also a prodigious innovator in the organ repertory. Olivier Latry – resident organist on the great organ of Notre-Dame-de-Paris for more than thirty-five years – has recorded five of his pieces on the Rieger organ of the Philharmonie de Paris, including the three major published works for the instrument, fleshed out with transcriptions and arrangements.

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These works reflect the genius of their composer, who chose sources as different as a Bach cantata, a theme from a then-fashionable opera or the four letters of a name to create music of overflowing imagination. His approach to the organ, opening up previously unexplored horizons, was of course inspired by the piano, his instrument of choice.

Liszt, without whom the musical and organ worlds would not be what they are today, was a visionary and generous artist, an idealist of music, an extraordinary personality who was adulated on the concert platform, yet chose to end his life wearing the soutane of an abbé . . . He constantly astonishes and moves us, even today.

This recording, aided by the outstanding musical quality of the Philharmonie organ, is an ideal introduction to the multiple facets of his genius.


Fantasie und Fuge über das Thema B.A.C.H. (‘Syncretic version’: Jean Guillou) 13’54

  • Moderato 4’35
  • Andante 4’11
  • Fugue 2’31
  • Maestoso 2’37


Liebestraum No.3 (Transkription : Olivier Latry) 5’31


Variationen über „Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen“ (Anordnung : Marcel Dupré) 16’10

  • Andante 3’35
  • Allegro con moto 2’04
  • Animato 2’29
  • Recitativo 4’58
  • Choral 3’04


Saint François d’Assise: La prédication aux oiseaux 11’35
(Transkription : Camille Saint-Saëns)

  • Allegretto 5’16
  • Solenne 6’20


Fantasie und Fuge über den Choral „Ad nos, ad salutarem undam“ 29’58

  • Moderato 3’36
  • A capriccio 6’32
  • Adagio 6’02
  • Un poco più di moto 3’43
  • Allegro deciso 1’04
  • Fuga 3’15
  • Vivace molto 2’17
  • Più mosso 3’29

Olivier Latry is acknowledged as one of the world’s most eminent exponents of the organ. He has performed in the most prestigious concert halls, has appeared as a guest of major orchestras under the direction of renowned conductors, and has premiered an impressive number of new works.

Appointed titular organist of the Great Organ of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris when he was just twenty-three, and emeritus organist of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in 2012, Olivier Latry is above all a brilliant and audacious all-round musician, exploring every possible aspect of his instrument, and endowed with an exceptional talent as an improviser.

He took an active part in the inauguration of the organ of the Maison de Radio France in May 2016 and inaugurated the Rieger organ of the Philharmonie de Paris in 2017. He is organist in residence at the Dresden Philharmonie for the 2017-19 seasons.

A former student of Gaston Litaize, he succeeded his teacher at the Saint-Maur Conservatoire before being appointed professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. Olivier Latry has received numerous prizes and distinctions, including the Prize of the Fondation Cino and Simone Del Duca (Institut de France – Académie des Beaux-Arts) in 2000. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the North and Midlands School of Music in the United Kingdom and McGill University in Montreal in 2010.

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