The Organ


Daniel Hyde organ
PRIORY PRCD 884 CD 69m17s

Daniel Hyde brings strong performances to a marvellous set of music for the festive season. Opening with Marcel Dupré's arrangement of Bach's Sinfonia from Cantata No 29 we are instantly awakened to the special qualities that the Harrison and Harrison instrument has delivered to the world over many years of live broadcasts from King's College on Christmas Eve. Using Bach as the staple ingredient in this rich Yuletide mix, Hyde chooses carefully composers that contrast well both in mood and style. Here you find Karg-Elert's radiant Chorale Improvisation on 'In dulci jubilo', Op.75, No.2, quite happily sandwiched between fine performances of Bach's Wir Christenleut' hab'n jetz und Freud, BWV 710 and Von Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her, BWV 738. Immediately following we are led into the dark colouring of Reger's extensive essay Weihnachten, Op.145, No.3, which dwells on the mystery of the miracle at hand in contemplative spirit before a beautiful episode taking the carol Silent Night to poignant depths slips from our ears allowing a majestic performance of Bach's In dulci jubilo, BWV 729, to provide the route to Guilment's Offertoire sur deux noëls containing the most recognisable Adeste Fideles. For this Hyde seeks to create a pool of sound that can equate with that of a French Cavaillé-Coll, which is reasonably successful in that sense, but more so in bringing the work to this programme. Eight minutes later we follow the bucolic footsteps of Bach's one-off Pastorella, BWV 590, with the reeds-a-droning in the first movement, the flute-a-piping in the second, an aria-a-singing in the third and diminutions-a-contrapuntal-ing in the fourth, all in seasonal good taste. The Holy Boy finds John Ireland's own arrangement for organ of his meditative work for voice and piano before the outlook is brightened by W. T. Best's arrangement of Handel's For unto us a child is born. Carl Sattler's Pastorale on Joseph, lieber Joseph mein and Stille Nacht is a beautiful interlacing of the two carols. Two more Bach settings of Von Himmel hoch, BWV 700 and 701, lead the way to a fine exploration of Brahms' Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen. Hyde bows out explosively with the Final from Widor's 6th Symphony, its grand posturing presenting him no problems and ending a positive programme for Christmas, lasting almost eighty minutes, and one that I am sure many organists can, and should, entertain in their collections.