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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67197
Recording details: June 2004
Hedvig Eleonora Kyrhan, Stockholm, Sweden
Release date: July 2005
Total duration: 7 minutes 41 seconds

'Eben's music is uniformly well constructed and reveals the composer's fecund creativity … the performances here are exemplary. The Norwegian organist Halgeir Schiager is an extremely adept advocate of this repertoire. His playing is precise, colourful, rhythmically alert and sensitive to the structure of the music; above all it is highly virtuosic in its crisp attention to detail … in short, this disc offers a generous tribute to Petr Eben, and will be a 'must' for devotees of his music' (International Record Review)

'Recommended for all organists and afficionados' (Fanfare, USA)

A Festive Voluntary 'Variations on Good King Wenceslas'

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
I wrote A Festive Voluntary (Variations on Good King Wenceslas) in response to a commission from the Southern Cathedrals Festival for the re-opening of the Chichester Cathedral organ. My immediate thoughts as to the main character of this work are clear: it should be festive, joyous and display the richness and diversity of colours of the instrument. Thus I decided to write a continuous set of variations with varying combinations of stops, especially the reeds. Looking for a theme for the variations, I wanted to find something that would connect my country with Great Britain. I found this in the person of our King and national saint and the English medieval tune based on the lovely carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’. I took this tune as the basis for the Voluntary, in the hope that the joyfulness of this melody would be reflected in my variations.

from notes by Petr Eben © 2005
English: Roland Smithers

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