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THE ENGLISH CATHEDRAL SERIES: VOLUME IX

Mark Lee at the organ of Bristol Cathedral
REGENT REGCD191
69'22"
www.regentrecords.com

Mark Lee is a fine organist as you will discover from this recording from Regent. His programme opens with Sir Walter Alcockís Introduction and Passacaglia, which certainly must have blown the cobwebs away around Bristol Cathedral. The Walker organ of 1907, restored by Manders in 1989/90 retaining its tubular pneumatic action, delivers Leeís programme of 20th century works magnificently.

Percy Whitlockís Sonata in C minor reflects the serious side of the composerís personality, drawn here with light and shade, intelligence and compelling attitude by Lee. Clifford Harker, who died in 1999 and was a former organist at Bristol (1949-1983), receives a tribute from Lee in the form of a super rendition of his Rouen Processional (on Coelites Plaudant) before Easthope Martinís Evensong, a wonderful little piece that Lee tellingly enjoys playing, marked as it is by distinct contrasts and tunes that lie easily on the ear. Mark Lee ends his recital with George C Martinís powerful arrangement of Elgarís Opus 32 Imperial March, setting off the organ to itís advantage. A fine CD.

DA