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Mander Organs
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Philip

Thomas Trotter DVD from Ludlow

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I only became aware today that Regent Records have entered the DVD market with Thomas Trotter playing the organ of the Parish Church in Ludlow. See http://www.regent-records.co.uk/product_details_284.htm

 

Worth buying for the Elgar alone? Similar to Priory's series, it offers bonus features including an organ tour. Competitively priced as well.

It is a nice disk (or two, actually – the music comes on an additional CD as well, convenient for players in cars etc). Watching Thomas Trotter perform is a real pleasure. Everything seems to come off with such ease and such simple elegance, you just want to sit down on the bench and try it yourself.

 

Shaun Ward, the local DoM, gives a brief introduction to the organ and its history. Thomas Trotter gives short and insightful introductions to the pieces, of which I loved most his evocative idea concerning the middle part of the second Elgar movement – he pictures Elgar riding his bicycle across the fair country landscape. I don’t think I will ever get rid of the picture when listening to that bit of the sonata, and I do not mind.

 

The organ sounds fine, and definitely English down to the last stopped diapason. The Elgar is the ideal piece to show off its many strengths and beautiful colours, even if you might consider the organ rather a moderately-sized instrument. Apparently, it has everything it needs, and it serves the player well, who most of us might associate with the huge Birmingham organs over which he presides.

 

Speaking of which – Thomas Trotter has recorded another DVD-CD set in Birmingham Town Hall in 2011, “The Town Hall Tradition”, also with Regent. There, the Meistersinger prelude sits comfortably next to Leroy Anderson’s Typewriter, along with many other pieces equally exciting. Watching it all executed so elegantly is equally delightful as it is on the Ludlow disk. Speaking for myself, I admire his playing the Meistersinger prelude – but his own 1986 performance on that wonderful Hyperion disk still goes unsurpassed, even by himself.

 

Best wishes

Friedrich

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