The Organ

Thomas Adams: Organ Works Volume 4

Thomas Adams: Organ Works Volume 4; edited by Geoffrey Atkinson. Fagus Music


Adams (1785-1858) was a later contemporary of Samuel Wesley. His music represents the last of the older-style English organ composers with no obvious pedal part. This is surprising given that the editorial notes tell us that Adams was skilled in the use of the pedals. The Grand Organ Piece is a significant, multi-movement work, encompassing a major fugal section and the chromaticism and sudden key changes much beloved of Wesley himself. The three other voluntaries in this volume are all more-or-less standard 18th century pieces, with an opening slow movement followed by a fugue. The writing is more daring that, say, Stanley, and uses a longer compass in the bass especially. There are also Italianate touches from time to time, and the second and third voluntaries have a written in cadenza. The music is well printed and edited, with useful commentaries on the music, the composer and early 19th century organs.