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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: 5 minutes 30 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)

Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du 'Veni Creator', Op 4
composer
published in 1931

Other recordings available for download
John Scott (organ)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du «Veni Creator», Op 4, the first of the three major organ works, opens with the flute stops spinning a fine web of sound based on the opening phrase of the plainsong melody. A reed stop in the pedals announces a contorted version of the second phrase of the plainsong theme. The triplet figure returns on the flute stops before the third phrase of the plainsong is adapted. The reed stop returns before the fluttering opening triplet figure brings the Prélude to a close. A short section marked ‘Lento, quasi recitative’ leads into the Adagio proper which starts in G minor and moves unpredictably to G major before plunging into the key of B flat minor where a darker mood gradually assumes more prominence. This passage may well be Duruflé’s finest for the organ: the music becomes increasingly chromatic and the transition from the opening Adagio to the climax is achieved in the most seamless manner. Finally the Choral which has only been seen through a glass darkly, as it were, is presented in full by the organ, and followed by the four variations.

The first variation is written in four parts. The theme appears in the pedals whilst the right hand plays an elaboration of the theme. The second variation is for manuals only, whilst the third variation is a canon at the interval of the fourth. The final variation is a brilliant toccata, introducing the theme in canon between right hand and pedals. The music winds up to a glorious climax; Duruflé saves his master-stroke for the coda marked ‘tempo poco più vivo’ when he presents the plainsong ‘Amen’ (only hinted at in the organ music until that point) in the pedals on full organ.

from notes by William McVicker © 1990


Other albums featuring this work
'Duruflé: The Complete Organ Music' (CDH55475)
Duruflé: The Complete Organ Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Pre-order CD by post £5.50 CDH55475  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) May 2014 Release  

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