One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

 

AVAILABILITY 

Lammas Records

Sounds Awesome
Alan RIDOUT (1934-1996)
Reredos (1956) [4:42]; Paean (1963) [1:58]; Prelude on :St Thomas Honour We: (1988) [2:43]; Epithalamium (1967) [2:20]; The Seven Last Words (1965) (i) Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do [2:03]; ii) Woman, behold thy son ... Behold thy mother [3:45]; iii) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [2:01]; iv) Verily I say unto thee: Today shalt thou be with me in paradise [4:24]; v) I thirst [2:23]; vi) It is finished [4:14]; vii) Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit [4:47])
Humphrey CLUCAS (b. 1941)
Psalm Prelude (2004) [2:32]; Symphony for organ (2004) (i) Allegro [10:44]; ii) Scherzo [4:26]; iii) Variations [7:46])
Peter WISHART (1921-1984)
Pastorale and Fughetta (1961); Pastorale [2:44]; Fughetta [1:55]
Humphrey SEARLE (1915-1982)
Cyprus Dances (1981) [4:41]
Robert Crowley (organ)
rec. Canterbury Cathedral, 26-27 October 2004. DDD
LAMMAS LAMM 183D [70:17]

 

Firstly, I've had enough of Lammas's ineffably twee titles for CDs, 'Sounds Awesome' means nothing and tells us little about this disc. Whether it indeed sounds awesome is of course entirely subjective anyway.

The disc comprises some lesser-known 20th, (and even early 21st) century compositions for organ by English composers. For me the most effective music is that of Alan Ridout. On the one hand 'The Seven Last Words', a substantial passiontide work, gained some early fame when its dedicatee Allan Wicks recorded it at Canterbury for Brian Culverhouse's Great Cathedral Organ series for EMI. This recording by Robert Crowley makes a different sort of impact, some forty years after the work's composition, but despite being very much a child of its time, this dissonant and challenging work still carries drama and emotion aplenty and a new recording is therefore welcome. On the other hand I like the simplicity of the material and form in the Prelude on St Thomas Honour We, and the Epithalamium.

The self taught Humphey Clucas wrote his organ symphony for the performer here, Robert Crowley. I find it overly fragmented and am seldom aware of a real sense of ongoing growth or development despite the traditional forms used. The short psalm prelude appeals more.

Peter Wishart, a former professor of music at Reading University, is represented by two short and attractive works, which nonetheless continue the sour acerbic harmonic language, albeit in a more serene context. The effect is intriguing; I should like to here these pieces again in another context.

Finally the Cyprus Dances of former RCM professor Humphrey Searle appeal through their rhythmic drive and gradual increase in tension.

To be honest I'm not about to study any of the music presented here. All of it has its merits and some will find followers. For me none of it is on the same level as the best organ music of Kenneth Leighton for instance. But I really admire Robert Crowley's dedicated, virtuosic performances and commend them to you. Crowley has carved something of a niche for himself with his recordings of 20th century British repertoire, and he does it very well. The Canterbury organ sounds good, perhaps it could have been recorded a little more atmospherically, itís all a bit 'in your face'.

Recommended for fans of this repertoire.

Chris Bragg

AVAILABILITY 

Lammas Records

 

 


 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

August 2022

Hervelois
Louis Caix d'Hervelois

massenet
orchestral songs

Singleton

 


String Quartets

la folia

mysterious

 

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

 

 


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.