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Hyperion Records

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Fireworks over Stockholm.
© Mikael Damkier, www.dreamstime.com
Track(s) taken from CDA67734
Recording details: June 2008
Västerås Cathedral, Sweden
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: May 2009
Total duration: 10 minutes 52 seconds

'Herrick's playing and imaginative use of the organ's resources are first rate, and he's backed up by a superb recording from Hyperion' (Gramophone)

'This instrument makes a pretty spectacular noise … with plenty of incendiary reeds and pyrotechnic instruments, it provides yet another ideal organ on which Christopher Herrick can light his blue touch paper and not retire but leap onto the pyre and set off as many fireworks as he can in the space of 78 minutes … he is a fluent and fiery champion of the repertoire … Herrick manages to persuade us that it is all worth hearing. He delivers it with enthusiasm and the communicative zeal which is the hallmark of just about everything this outstanding organist ever seems to put his hands and feet to … for lovers of fine organ sound and often spine-tingly virtuoso playing … this disc most certainly is not thirteenth time unlucky' (International Record Review)

Prelude and Fugue in C minor
composer
1920/1; published 1930

Prelude  [5'41]
Fugue  [5'11]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Alone among major British composers of the twentieth century, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) was a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, having studied the instrument with Walter Parratt at the Royal College of Music and Alan Gray at Cambridge. In 1899, after a brief period as a church organist, he abandoned the organ-loft, but in the years immediately following the First World War he turned to the instrument again and wrote the well-known preludes on Welsh hymn-tunes (published in 1920) and the Prelude and Fugue in C minor. Although the latter dates from 1920–21, it was not published until 1930, when it appeared both as an orchestral work and as an organ piece. The ritornello-form first movement calls to mind the Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV546 of J S Bach. The fugue is in A–B–A form and based on a subject whose pentatonic outline seems like an augury of gentle pastoralism; but both movements display a gritty, truculent brand of counterpoint that anticipates the dissonance and fury of Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No 4 in F minor, the composition of which spanned the years 1931–4.

from notes by Relf Clark © 2009

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