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Jeremy Jones

4 New British Organ Cds

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I have in the past few days suddenly found myself under siege with 4 new CD recordings of British organs landing on my doormat, with 3 out of 4 IMHO really rather worth splurging out on.

 

CARLISLE CATHEDRAL / JOHN ROBINSON (PRIORY)

Howells, Lloyd Webber, Bridge, Ireland, Whitlock, Healey Willan (IP&F) and the Elgar Organ Sonata

 

I loved this CD of an organ I had not heard before. JR is a former John's Organ Scholar and it shows in the quality of his playing for someone so disgustingly young and talented. Of the organ, it has a notably bright Great chorus and what sounds like a huge Tuba. Only a 32ft reed would appear to be lacking.

 

CLIFTON COLLEGE, BRISTOL / ADRIAN PARTINGTON (PRIORY)

Volume 3 of the Complete Organ Works of Basil Harwood

 

I may as well declare an interest here as I learnt to play the organ on this 4m Harrison and spent nearly 5 happy years playing it on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it spoilt me for everything else that came after. The CD is a faithful reproduction of the organ (a Cynic here once said some unflattering things about this organ, so should probably steer clear) but listening to a whole CD of Harwood music wasn't the chore I was expecting. The only downer here is the CD booklet where the specification given is the original 1911 one (42 stops) and not as it is today (46 stops): http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=A00255

 

BEVERLEY MINSTER / COLIN WRIGHT (PRIORY)

Thomas Adams, Matthias Hawdon, Matthew Camidge, Thomas Attwood Walmisley, Dyson, John Cook, Francis Jackson, Gwilym Beechey, Alan Spedding

 

To be honest I found myself yawning quite a lot when listening to this CD. The music is not particularly distinguished and the organ doesn't really get to stretch its legs until the last few items. In the early works, the registrations are also a little bland.

 

CAIRD HALL, DUNDEE / TIM BYRAM-WIGFIELD (DELPHIAN)

Organ Works by Alfred Hollins including Concert Overtures in C major, C minor and F minor

 

A real cracker of a CD on this 1923 Harrison, their first concert organ. I am very much a fan of Hollins' organ music and the organ sounds a real gem, very much echt-Arthur Harrison. Amazing to think that the same organ builders went from this to the Royal Festival Hall in only 30 years, although their organ in Bristol's Colston Hall also built around the same time as the RFH is a more reliable indicator that not so much had changed in the intervening years. Well worth getting.

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Guest Roffensis

The Carlisle one is good, note the entry of the 8 foot in the Bridge Adagio.....glorious tone, and I think, a new stop? And properly pressed , off a proper stamper.

 

I personally did not bother with Beverley, as someone told me it appears to be a CDR "pressing".....?

 

Incidently, the Amphion recording of Beverley, by Alan Spedding is excellent, well produced, good recording, performances, and quality pressed.

 

The others I don't know.

 

R

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Guest Barry Oakley

I have in the past few days suddenly found myself under siege with 4 new CD recordings of British organs landing on my doormat, with 3 out of 4 IMHO really rather worth splurging out on.

 

...BEVERLEY MINSTER / COLIN WRIGHT (PRIORY)

Thomas Adams, Matthias Hawdon, Matthew Camidge, Thomas Attwood Walmisley, Dyson, John Cook, Francis Jackson, Gwilym Beechey, Alan Spedding

 

To be honest I found myself yawning quite a lot when listening to this CD. The music is not particularly distinguished and the organ doesn't really get to stretch its legs until the last few items. In the early works, the registrations are also a little bland...

 

I’ve yet to hear a good recording of the Minster organ although I’ve heard it for real many, many times and the best seems to be brought out of it by visiting organists. I first heard it getting on for 60 years ago played by my former master of choristers at Holy Trinity, Hull, Norman Strafford who virtually made it talk, as did Peter Goodman. The only resident at the Minster who has ever really inspired me was David Ingate. Now whatever happened to him? In more recent times I can recall spine-tingling performances from David Briggs and Jeremy Filsell. And now that he lives in the East Riding I’m waiting to hear that Paul Derrett has been invited to be let loose on this Hill masterpiece.

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Incidently, the Amphion recording of Beverley, by Alan Spedding is excellent, well produced, good recording, performances, and quality pressed.

Unfortunately I found this to be equally uninspiring. I note what Barry says and would hope to make the pilgrimage from the 'smoke' to the East Riding in the not too distant future to hear a visitng recitalist.

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