CHRISTOPHER BOODLE: SOUNDS EXUBERANT
Neil Weston at the organ of Spencerville Seventh Day Adventist Church, Maryland, USA
LAMMAS LAMM 143D
I have to say from the outset that I was not won over by this disc. I found Boodle's music rather repetitive and often somewhat stuck around a single tonal centre. Also too many pieces at the beginning of the disc required similar registration and relied on the use of ostinato and no thematic development - a recurring problem with the music. The Fanfare for the Millennium with Canons lacks direction, the Jazz-Fantasy on an American Spiritual sounds contrived and only remotely 'jazzy' and not at all 'of jazz', the Scherzo was frankly dull and the Christmas Sleigh-Ride boring. It was only when I resorted to reading the notes (which make a good case for composer and music) and the Toccata clante, (which began as I was reading the notes), that I began to empathise a little with the music. A Little Organ Album is full of worthwhile nuggets but I found little worthwhile in the Carillon Symphony apart from some flashy writing and a noisy ending, which rounded off the disc in great style!
This difficult music is well-played by Neil Watson (produced by his old boss from Chelmsford Cathedral, Graham Elliot), although I feel that the rhythm could sometimes be tighter, and the odd difficult passage makes itself felt - Boodle has found a committed advocate for his music. The instrument (one of the last built by MP Moller in 1991) is very fine, but it is not until the Little Organ Book that we begin to hear more of what it is about and it is given no help from the acoustic. It would have been good to have a little more information than just a specification and a few brief words about it. A disc for the devotee or curious.
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