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César Franck: Organ Works - SCA001Assistant Director of Music, John Challenger, releases his second album on the Cathedral’s Father Willis Organ. This album was recorded prior to the dismantling of Salisbury's famous instrument, which was built in 1876 and is currently undergoing major restoration. In this new recording, John plays organ works by the nineteenth-century composer and founder of the French Symphonic organ school, César Franck. The programme includes Franck’s Pièce Heroïque, the Prelude, Fugue and Variation, along with the gigantic Three Chorals for Organ, which Franck composed in 1890, immediately prior to his death. This is the first album to be released independently by Salisbury Cathedral, and all proceeds from sales of this recording will help support our music.     

 Available on:     CD     .mp3     .flac    



César Franck: Pièce héroïque; Prèlude, Fugue et Variation; Cantabile; Trois Chorals

SCA001     View Booklet (PDF)


Recorded in Salisbury Cathedral, uk on 30th January - 1st February 2019. 
Photography: Ash Mills
Recording Engineering, Production & Editing: Andrew Post
Release Date: September 2019
Total Duration: 69:23

"Challenger displays technical wizardry and infinite sonic variety throughout." 
The Guardian, Fiona Maddocks
"Challenger luxuriates in the big-boned Britishness of this splendid instrument, turning Franck’s generously proportioned structures into monumental, statuesque edifices, full of pomposity, regality and opulence [...] showcasing potential for an instrument he so clearly adores."
Gramophone, Marc Rochester
"Challenger gets right inside this wonderful music – throughout the disc Franck’s music feels gorgeously evocative."
Church Times, Roderic Dunnett
"A musician that has the chops to understand the music, recast it for Salisbury thanks to a thorough understanding of that organ’s complex character, and play it with the gravitas and the subtlety required is rare indeed, and the disc is welcome because of that."
Hi-Fi+ Magazine, Alan Sircom
"His performances are uniformly excellent, and the recording is equally first-rate."
The Organ, James Palmer
"Very recommendable."
Choir & Organ, Chris Bragg
"With Challenger's respectful and very musical approach this is a truly special album ... the angelic father Franck on a heavenly Father Willis."