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The English Organ Sonata - 1937

The English Organ Sonata - 1937-Organ-Organ Collection
ID: SIGCD508 (EAN: 635212050828)  | 1 CD | DDD
Ausgefolgt: 2004
Signum Records
Organ Collection
BAIRSTOW, Sir Edward | HARRIS, William Henry | WHITLOCK, Percy William
CAREY, Colm (organ)
Andere Infos:

The year 1937 was surely one of the richest years of the 20th century for the English organ repertoire. That peculiarly English genre the organ sonata gained two new major works with the publication of Percy Whitlock's sonata in C minor and Edward Bairstow's sonata in Eb.

Percy Whitlock studied composition at the Royal College of Music with Vaughan Williams. His C-minor organ sonata was conceived whilst laid low with illness and dependent upon the radio, where he was thrilled to hear a broadcast of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony in C minor. Then during a period of convalescence, Whitlock enjoyed a series of country walks which sowed the seeds of the second and third movements of his sonata. The sonata is a brooding work of symphonic scale and complexity. In it, the organ is treated very much as an orchestra, requiring the player to be more than usually adroit at manipulating the stops to achieve specific tone-colours. The sonata is recognised as the finest of the very good, light, British organ pieces that exist (with most of the others being by Whitlock anyway).

In the 1930s Sir Edward Bairstow was Professor of Music at the University of Durham and had not written for the organ since 1911, chiefly concentrating instead on the composition of choral works. A nationally recognised academic, he came to regard some of his earlier organ works as somewhat sentimental but he had never the less had a yearning to write an organ sonata. By giving the work slow and quiet outer movements which rise in the middle, and a bright, strong central one, Bairstow inverts the usual pattern. He establishes the overall mood as quiet and introverted, suiting his love of restraint.

The disc concludes on an upbeat note with the arresting Flourish for an Occasion from the pen of Sir William Harris, organist of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. St George's is the home of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and the occasion for which this piece was composed was the annual Garter service of 1947.
WHITLOCK, Percy William (1903-1946) 
Sonata in C minor 
1. Grave: Animato13:58 
2. Canzona6:16 
3. Scherzetto4:40 
4. Choral19:55 
BAIRSTOW, Sir Edward (b. 1930) 
Sonata in Eb 
5. Andante serioso, ma con moto7:18 
6. Allegro giocoso3:31 
7. Maestoso6:11 
HARRIS, William Henry (1883-1973) 
8. Flourish for an occasion4:57 


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