Image Richard Wagner - Une Soirée Musicale chez Albert Baron de l'Espée

Richard Wagner - Une Soirée Musicale chez Albert Baron de l'Espée

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From his earliest years onwards, Albert Baron de l’Espée’s thoughts circled round nothing else but the desire to someday be able to call a giant cathedral organ his property - an instrument which would be in no way inferior in scale and grandeur to the largest and most renowned organs of that time.

In 1897 the odd misanthrope, endowed with an unimaginable fortune, ordered an organ from Arisitde Cavaillé-Coll with 72 stops for his castle in Ilbarritz. Inspired by the demigod of Bayreuth, the Baron played Parsifal or Tannhäuser in a manner that Wagner himself would not have disapproved of. In 1907 this organ was replaced by the instrument from Mutin-Cavaillé-Coll recorded on this CD. From 1912 on a series of concerts was organised. One of these went down in history thanks to the participation of the great Wagnerian singer Felia Litvinne...

The idea of this recording is to somehow recreate the atmosphere of an evening concert around this very particular instrument, as it might have taken place at Château d'Ilbarritz.