CD Reviews 2009
The current year's CD reviews and index to archived reviews can be found here. These are the reviews added to the website in 2009.
2002 CD Reviews .
2003 CD Reviews .
2004 CD Reviews .
2007 CD Reviews .
2008 CD Reviews
Extra CD Reviews for Issue 349 (August 2009) of The Organ
Extra CD Reviews for Issue 348 (June 2009) of The Organ
- Star recording: William Matthias: Complete Organ Music Richard Lea Priory PRCD 870 [2xCD set]
This new double-CD set of the complete organ music by the Welsh composer William Mathias is very welcome, and should find a place in the collections of all organists and music-lovers who care about the 20th-century British repertoire for the instrument.
- Pictures at an Exhibition Robert Houssart Regent REGCD 267
The catch-all title of this extraordinary collection of pieces might have seemed a reasonable marketing ploy, but it is certainly a mixed bag. It begins with Houssart's transcription (actually, a very effective one, which would make an attractive encore item) of the Troika from Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé.
- John Kitchen plays the organ of the Usher Hall Music by Hollins, Elgar, Handel, JS Bach, Liszt, Geoffrey Atkinson, Holst, Walton Delphian DCD 34022
This is a most impressive reissue, which will be eagerly sought out by organ lovers who did not catch it first time around, for it is a collection of the first recordings of the newly refurbished Norman & Beard concert organ in Edinburgh's Usher Hall.
- Philip Rushforth - The Grand Organ of Chester CathedralMusic by Healey Willan, Harold Darke, Percy Whitlock, Vaughan Williams, John Sanders and Charles Callahan
OxRecs OXCD 104
Philip Rushforth has put together a fascinating and very worthwhile programme of English organ music from the last 100 years on the well-known Chester Cathedral instrument, largely rebuilt in 1910 by William Hill, and lovingly overhauled several times since.
- Tilo Medek: Organ works Martin Schmeding
Cybele SACD 060.801
The life, work and career of the German composer Tilo Medek (1940-2006) should stand as a cautionary tale for many young aspiring organist-composers, in that, being born in East Germany at the outbreak of the Second World War, he found himself growing up and living in his early maturity in a relentlessly communist country, wherein his work, at all times deeply serious, was looked upon with some condescension (if not downright hostility) by those in musical power.
- Melchior Schildt (1592-1667) - Complete Organ Music. Peter Morhard (fl 1685) - Complete Organ Music Friedhelm Flamme CPO 777 343-2
This is the fifth volume in CPO's immensely valuable series, Organ Music of the North German Baroque played on the Gerhard-von-Holy instrument (1710-11) at the Bartholomäuskirche in Dornum.
- 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.
- JS Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Book 1 Dimitri Vassilakis, fortepiano; Christine Auger, harpsichord; Pascal Vigneron, organ fortepiano, harpsichord, organ: tuned to Werckmeister III temperament of A = 442 Quantum QM 7039
This is a release of some importance, but it has to be said at once that its appeal will be almost exclusively for specialists and students of early 18th-century music. Not that music-lovers and record-collectors in general need feel intimidated, but the inherent interest in this release is of an exceptional nature.
- JS Bach, arranged and edited Robert Schumann (1851) Johannes-Passion BWV 245 Soloists, chorus and Das Kleine Konzert, directed by Hermann Max CPO 777 091/2 [two discs]
This is an issue of no little significance, for it offers the world premiere recording of Bach's St John Passion as arranged and edited by another great composer, over one hundred years after the work first appeared.