Organ Fireworks - Vol X
Christopher Herrick at the organ of the Winspear Centre Edmonton (Canada)
Perhaps the newest organ to be recorded in Christopher Herrick's excellent continuing series of Fireworks, the Létourneau instrument in the Winspear Centre was built by that Canadian firm in 2001/2: there are 96 stops spread over 4 manuals and pedals. A large organ then and speaking into a large room but unlike many concert halls, this one seems not to be totally dead acoustically, although the recorded sound level seems a trifle low.
As in other CDs in this series, Mr Herrick's repertoire is wide and mostly unfamiliar - other recitalists please follow suit! Works by Mons Takle (Blues-Toccata) and John Behnke (Siyahamba) for example were very new to me, the first being particularly interesting. Music by Bonnet, Duruflé (the Toccata from the Suite op5) and Liszt (Ad nos) were more well-known, all receiving exciting performances, especially the Liszt. Two short items from Ian Farrington's Fiesta suite are also interesting additions to the repertoire: slightly more "modern" than expected but worthy of being heard.
My only slight negative criticism of this disc (and perhaps not quite warranted in view of the title) is that there is little relaxation - most works are fast and furious! It would have been nice to hear more of the quieter registers of this very fine organ. So, an interesting programme, all items excellently played on a fine new organ - there's little to detract from the value of this very worthy CD.