Here is some really rare music, virtually unknown for a hundred years or more even to organists. The CD brings together organ voluntaries and concert pieces from the Victorian period. Graham Barber has thoroughly scrutinized the large surviving repertoire of the nineteenth century and selected these works as being fully worthy of resurrection. Apart from one transcription they are all original organ compositions, based on hymns, chorales and psalm tunes.
Edward Silas’s Fantasia on ‘St Ann’s Hymn’ unfolds in the manuals above a gently ruminating statement of the hymn ‘O God, our help in ages past’, while Oliver King’s Prelude for Lent is a deeply-felt meditation on the first chorale in Bach’s St Matthew Passion. The two major works are William Spark’s Theme, Variations and Fugue on ‘The Ancient Vesper Hymn’, and Charles William Pearce’s symphonic poem ‘Corde natus ex parentis’ (Of the Father sole begotten).
The music is played on the organ of Tewkesbury Abbey.