The Organ

John Blow and His Pupils – Psalms, Hymns and Organ Pieces

John Blow and His Pupils – Psalms, Hymns and Organ Pieces
Timothy Roberts, organ with Julia Gooding and Clara Sanabras, sopranos; Richard Savage, bass, plus audience participation (at a live recital at St Botolph’s, Aldgate, 23 September 2006)
Sfz Music 0207

In terms of repertoire and scope, this is a splendid collection of fine music, and although the heading to this review might suggest a less than pluperfect contribution for everyone taking part, the result is so convincing in the two tracks where the audience participates in performances of two Psalms (Nos 8 and 100, each with prelude and interludes) that we are caught up in a genuine recreation of the kind of atmosphere in which much of this music was first heard and for which it was intended. The majority of the pieces here are Voluntaries by Blow, finely played by Timothy Roberts, with other music by Purcell, John Reading, William Richardson and Jeremiah Clarke, the entire collection forming a valuable conspectus of music of the time, and well recorded on the oldest surviving English church organ, at St Botolph’s, Aldgate dating from about 1704. The vocal items are excellently done, and all in all this makes a really worthwhile and most useful addition to the discography of the period. Texts are included.

Robert Matthew-Walker