The Organ


Thomas Trotter at the Klais organ in the Symphony Hall Birmingham
Symphony Hall Recordings SH-CD2

Apart from a radio demonstration by titulaire Thomas Trotter, this is the first chance I have had to hear the country's newest concert organ and I'm impressed.

Most organs seem to cope well with loud music, but it is the softer stops that often show an instrument's pedigree. And it's in the second movement of Durufl's Suite op5 that the quality of this organ is thus demonstrated, Mr Trotter conjuring some beautiful sounds from the quieter stops, before unleashing a devastating performance of the work's final Toccata. This performance alone makes the CD a worthy addition to my collection.

Other pieces presented here include a Voluntary (in F op7#6) by Stanley, the "Bach D-minor" (whose presence perhaps shows the target audience) as well as an excellent rendition of one of those works Mr Trotter excels at - Lemare's transcription of Saint-Sans' Danse Macabre.

A group of five short dances by Johannes of Lublin again show the range of colours available on this organ and to finish with, another "war-horse", the Suite Gothique by Bollmann. Once again, an exhilarating performance that well shows off this fine instrument.

The firm of Klais has always, to my ears at least, been pre-eminent in its larger organs, my feelings confirmed by this organ as recorded on this CD. The recording itself is very fine, clear, neither too close nor too distant, the hall's acoustic not as dead as I had feared.

Being made for the Hall, this disc may not be easily available, but it is nevertheless, very highly recommended by this reviewer. DW