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Track(s) taken from CDA67470

Fantasie Choral No 1 in D flat major

composer
1931

John Scott (organ)
Recording details: January 2004
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2004
Total duration: 12 minutes 24 seconds
 
1

Reviews

'Julian Millard has caught the St Paul's organ to perfection, setting it at the heart of the cathedral's sumptuous acoustic while offering a dazzlingly clear view both of the instrument's myriad tone colours and Scott's superb virtuosity' (Gramophone)

'In a word, then, these performances are exemplary. The technical quality of the recording is equally high … This is a wonderful disc' (International Record Review)

'John Scott's performance on the organ of St Paul's Cathedral are wholly sympathetic and convincing. The recording captures a good deal of the venue's ambience' (Fanfare, USA)

'You have to have this—for so many reasons' (Organists' Review)
Whitlock’s two substantial Fantasie Chorals were composed in 1931, soon after his arrival at St Stephen’s – a church which John Betjeman described as ‘a lofty hall of stone-vaulting providing view after view as you walk round it, each lovelier than the last, and worthy of a vast cathedral’. The (almost) French title perhaps suggests a tribute to the three expansive Chorals of César Franck, and the leisurely developments of the Fantasie Choral No 1 certainly require big resonant spaces in which to bloom: this is concert music conceived for the church. The serene, hymn-like chorale theme in D flat major is contrasted with a more fluid and passionate second subject in F sharp minor, and then developed through a sequence of three very free variations (the last a wonderfully delicate scherzo). The second subject inspires a definitive climax, and this finally evaporates into a concluding reprise of the hushed antiphonal writing from the opening bars.

from notes by David Gammie 2004

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