Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

The Organ of Ripon Cathedral played by Graham Barber - Symphonic organ music from the Edwardian era
Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852 - 1924)

Fantasia and Fugue in D minor. Op.103 (1907) [11’19]
Edwin LEMARE (1865 - 1934)

Nocturne in B minor (1901) [9’21]
Cyril Badley ROOTHAM (1875 - 1938)

Epinikion (Song of Victory) (1906) [8’28]
Elegiac Rhapsody on an Old Church Melody [8’08]
Ernest Bristow FARRAR (1885 - 1918)

Fantasy-Prelude Op.5 (1908) [6’23]
Walter Gilpin ALCOCK (1861 - 1947)

Impromptu in G (1908) [6’26]
Postlude (1911) [6’11]
Edward Cuthbert BAIRSTOW (1874 - 1946)

Legend in A flat (1907) [8’56]
Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852 - 1924)

Installation March. Op.108 (1908) [10’41]
Graham Barber (organ)
Recorded in Ripon Cathedral, 6 - 7 November 2000
Great European Organs No. 66
PRIORY PRCD769 [76’49"]


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The organ of Ripon Cathedral is a very large instrument as the cover of this CD shows. It has been upgraded and enlarged progressively since it was built in 1878. It certainly makes a magnificent noise, which these pieces are of the period to utilise. In fact, only Stanford’s Fantasia and Fugue and Bairstow’s Legend have other recordings in the catalogue. I am very tempted to say "No wonder"; for the most part. Stanford excepted, the level of composition is poor. The works end up as repetitious meanderings and Rosalias without any sense of purpose or aim. I said the one exception was Stanford; he stands head and shoulders above the other composers here. The Fantasia and Fugue is initially chromatic and then features broken arpeggios which are skilfully played. The fugue is of a standard pattern and well worked out. His March was written for the installation of Lord Rayleigh as Chancellor of Cambridge University where Stanford was Professor of Music. It is a typically grandiose work to accompany the pomp and ceremony of such an occasion.

Graham Barber gives as good a performance as can be hoped for, given the material with which he has to work. The organ responds well to its demands. Throughout the sound is magnificent and matched by the recording. From the specification there are 59 stops but the number of pipes is not given. Suffice it to say that the playing is excellent, the registration ideal for the period, and if the programme appeals, one will not be disappointed. To summarise, a disc for organ enthusiasts; the ordinary listener may well find it hard going.

John Portwood

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