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Track(s) taken from CDA67734

Prelude and Fugue in C minor

1920/1; published 1930

Christopher Herrick (organ)
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

Cover artwork: Fireworks over Stockholm.
© Mikael Damkier, www.dreamstime.com


'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)
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

Cas unique parmi les compositeurs britanniques du XXe siècle, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) fut Fellow du Royal College of Organists après avoir étudié l’orgue avec Walter Parratt (Royal College of Music) et Alan Gray (Cambridge). En 1899, il fut pendant un court temps organiste d’église, puis il abandonna la tribune d’orgue; renouant avec cet instrument dans les années qui suivirent immédiatement la Première Guerre mondiale, il écrivit ses célèbres préludes sur des hymnes galloises (publiés en 1920) et son Prélude et Fugue en ut mineur, daté de 1920–21 mais publié seulement en 1930 (à la fois comme pièce orchestrale et comme œuvre pour orgue). Le premier mouvement de forme ritornello rappelle le Prélude et Fugue en ut mineur, BWV546 de J. S. Bach. De forme A–B–A, la fugue repose sur un sujet dont le contour pentatonique laisse augurer un doux pastoralisme; mais les deux mouvements révèlent un incisif et truculent sens du contrepoint qui préfigure la dissonance et la frénésie de la Symphonie no 4 en fa mineur composée par le même Vaughan Williams entre 1931 et 1934.

extrait des notes rédigées par Relf Clark © 2009
Français: Hypérion

Als einziger der großen britischen Komponisten des 20. Jahrhunderts war Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872– 1958) ein Fellow of the Royal College of Organists; er hatte das Instrument bei Walter Parratt am Royal College of Music und Alan Gray in Cambridge studiert. 1899, nach einer kurzen Periode als Kirchenorganist verließ er die Orgelempore, kehrte aber unmittelbar nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg zu dem Instrument zurück und schrieb die gut bekannten Präludien über walisische Kirchenlieder (1920 veröffentlicht) und Präludium und Fuge in c-Moll. Obwohl das letztere Werk von 1920–21 datiert, wurde es erst 1930 veröffentlicht, als es sowohl als Orchester- als auch als Orgelstück erschien. Der erste Satz in Ritornellform erinnert an Präludium und Fuge in c-Moll, BWV546 von J. S. Bach. Die Fuge steht in A–B–A-Form und basiert auf einem Thema, dessen pentatonische Kontur pastorale Zartheit anzukündigen scheint, aber eine herbe, trotzige Marke von Kontrapunkt zur Schau stellt, die die Dissonanz und den Zorn von Vaughan Williams’ Symphonie Nr. 4 in f-Moll vorwegnimmt, deren Komposition 1931–34 umspannte.

aus dem Begleittext von Relf Clark © 2009
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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