£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


BUY NOW 

AmazonUK

James COOK (circa 1970)
Organ Symphony
Odyssey, (Heaven Taken by Storm) [10’56]
Pneumatologia [6’08]
Proem [3’05]
Ultima (The Four Last Things) [10’15]
Suite: Man’s Fourfold State
In Eden [2’46]
In Nature [1’57]
In Grace [1’46]
In Heaven [1’59]
Two Voluntaries
A Glimpse of Glory [2’03]
A Glance of Heaven [4’30]
Heaven and Hell Epitomised: 2 Sacred Lessons
Calvaries of Love [8’22]
The Everlasting Habitations [8’24]
Myles Hartley, organ
Rec: Harris Manchester College Chapel, Oxford, 19 November 2004. DDD
DIVINE ART 25031 [62’15]

 

 

This nicely produced CD features organ music composed during 2004 by the young English composer James Cook. We are told little about him except that he is a one-time composition student at Oxford University and has worked at Eton College. He is a prolific composer of choral music.

The music is a little hard to describe; probably it’s an acquired taste. It never seems in a hurry to get anywhere and in general I missed a certain amount of direction or purpose. Unusually for organ literature counterpoint plays no significant role. Rather, meandering melodies with rather triadic harmonies abound. Occasionally modal or even bi-tonal elements present themselves. Heavily featured are non-musical inspirations, most especially the writings of 17th century puritans. James Cook’s notes for the CD are full and informative.

If you have a taste for Cook’s music then Divine Art can go some way to assuaging your hunger. There are two other Cook discs in their catalogue. Each presents Cook’s sacred choral music sung by Voces Oxenienses. The first is ‘Heaven's Happiness’ where the choral director is Michael McCarthy; Rufus Frowde (organ) 25023. The second CD is ‘The Way to Heaven’ conductor Rufus Frowde with Iestyn Evans (organ) on 25027.

The present CD was recorded in Harris Manchester College Chapel in Oxford. The instrument began life in 1893 as a 23 stop Gray and Davison but was substantially enlarged in 1930 by Nicholson and later tweaked in the early 1970s when the inevitable mutations were added to the choir. In general the organ sounds well, despite the dry acoustic. I couldn’t help feeling though that the music might have taken on more stature on a better organ, and perhaps in a larger room. This implies no criticism of Myles Hartley, a former organ scholar of St George’s Windsor and now a post-graduate research student at Oxford. His playing can hardly be faulted. 

Worth picking up for explorers of the organ repertoire’s more unknown corners or for somebody interested in a recording of an otherwise un-recorded instrument.  

Chris Bragg 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable Arcodiva
British Music Soc.
CDAccord
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter


Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter

Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.