Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
March Pomp and Circumstance Op. 39 no. 3 [6.58]
Nimrod from Variations on an Original Theme Op. 36 [3.58]
Sonata in G Op. 28 [26.20]
Sospiri Op. 70 [4.58]
Severn Suite Op. 87 [15.57]
Solemn Prelude: For the Fallen from The Spirit of England Op. 80 [6.46]
March Pomp and Circumstance Op. 39 no. 5 [7.30]
Robert Quinney (organ)
rec. Westminster Abbey, no date given. DDD
SIGNUM SIGCD266 [74.36]
I could not fault this excellent disc of works by Elgar played by Robert Quinney on Westminster Abbey organ. The disc is well-presented, with entertaining and well-written booklet notes by Robert Quinney himself. These contain plenty of detail on the works and transcriptions - where applicable - featured, covering in full their backgrounds and characteristics. The biography of Quinney is followed by the full specification of the Harrison and Harrison organ in Westminster Abbey. This is guaranteed to delight organ buffs! We are also given photographs of the instrument - a couple of them rather good and art-y.
The disc itself presents an interesting range of music - mostly arrangements for organ of Elgar’s music, but with the focus of the disc the impressive Sonata in G. I was at first a little disappointed at the choice of including arrangements over and above that of the other, smaller-scale, organ music, yet all featured here are beautifully-crafted, and work well for the instrument.
The third Pomp and Circumstance March opens the disc, in an arrangement by pianist Iain Farrington, followed by Nimrod from the Enigma Variations, here arranged by W. H Harris. One at once notices the imaginative use of registration, and the fact that Quinney’s performances are very colourful, as he fully exploits the characteristics of the organ. We have especially good contrasts in the fourth movement of the ensuing Sonata in G; whilst the intimacy of Sospiri, in a rendition by Quinney himself, which follows the Organ Sonata, is well-realised. The Severn Suite - another Farrington transcription - is, again, brought to life in a vivid performance, whilst the Solemn Prelude from The Spirit of England is full of nobility and pathos. The disc concludes with the fifth Pomp and Circumstance - a suitable rousing conclusion to a really rather excellent disc. At over seventy-four minutes long, one receives one’s pennies-worth: a high standard of both music-making and presentation.
I could not fault this excellent disc.