The Organ

Great European Organs 66: Graham Barber at Ripon Cathedral

76' 49"

The disc is subtitled 'Symphonic Organ Music from the Edwardian Era'. Initially I thought that this might prove to be a less than interesting compilation, but it turned out to be one of the best recordings I have heard in a long time. Graham Barber is a superlative player and his choice of Ripon Cathedral organ and this music is perfect. We begin with Stanford's Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, a wonderful work, admirably performed in authentic style. Stanford's Installation March ends the disc. In between we have contributions from Rootham, Farrar, Alcock and Bairstow. I am ashamed to say that I did not know any of this music, but here are forgotten treasures! They all deserve to be back in the repertoire and I sincerely hope that the release of this CD will ensure that they are more widely known and properly appreciated. This music is no pale imitation of its Germanic equivalents but a truly British and worthwhile school of composition in its own right. Listening to this disc makes one realise why players such as Alcock and Lemare were eulogised in their lifetimes. Excellent programme notes complement the disc. This is playing of the very highest order. Buy this disc - I recommend it in the highest possible terms! DB