The Complete Charles Tournemire - remastered by Charles Lever

I’ve been rereleasing some recordings before, but I’ve never rereleased a whole set of recordings before. The reason why I’m rereleasing the Complete Charles Tournemire is because the present transfer is simply the best restoration of I’ve ever heard. The original 78s are from the collection of Michael Gartz, who has been a great supporter of this site and is remastered by Charles Lever.

When you remaster old recordings, you are always faced with problems concerning how much noise you are going to remove and how much equalization you are going to make. When you remove noise, you always remove a little bit of the music as well. So when you restore old recording, you are in fact interpretating the music as well; you can alter the actual the timbre of the instrument and you can “color” nuances as it fits you – in other words it is basically up to the aesthetics of the audio technician how the music is going to sound!

I’ve heard many(!) transfers of old recordings, some are completely free of surface noise and sound hollow and unnatural, and some are hardly remastered at all with too much surface noise so all the details are lost. The best remasterings, in my opinion, are done with a clear musical aesthetic in mind keeping as much surface noise and having a natural sound of the instrument and surroundings, bringing the music as much up front as possible.

The present remasterings have it all! Michael Gartz’s mint condition originals and Charles Lever’s subtle sense of details have provided the most excellent remastering, I’ve ever heard - not just organ recordings but in general. The clarity is simply amazing, and we can now hear details, as we were seated on the organ loft just beside Charles Tournemire back in 1930 and 1931. If Duruflé had been able to hear these remastering, the legendary transcriptions would have been much different.

So sit back and these transfers take you back to Paris in the 1930.

Big thanks to Michael Gartz for sharing these recording with us and letting me use them on IHORC, but as much thanks to Charles Lever for his world class remastering.

Download detailed playlist

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  1. Looking forward to these recordings, but your link to the playlist seems to be broken.

    Thanks for the many fine transfers here. You are doing an immeasurable service by bringing these old recordings back alive. Seems like the organ has generally gotten left out, in comparison to famous conductors, pianists, violinists or singers.

  2. Hi ziegelab,

    Thanks for the tip. The link should be working now.

    I'm glad you like my work here. Yes, organists are often forgotten when talking about historical recordings, but there is a vast and important legacy here.


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