Christopher Herrick continues the Scandinavian leg of his endlessly popular Organ Fireworks series with a disc of music performed on the great organ of Västerås Cathedral in Sweden. The programme is, as ever, a tempting pot-pourri of pieces from around the world, some popular, some rare; some light-hearted and some serious, and demonstrating all facets of virtuoso writing for the organ.
Highlights include a contribution from a Swedish composer: Otto Olsson’s magnificent Introduction and Allegro ‘Credo in unum Deum’. Duruflé’s Choral Varié on Veni Creator is a work of immense grandeur and majesty, and the performance shows Herrick to be a master of the classic French idiom. The present day is represented by Derek Bourgeois, one of the most prolific of living composers writing for the organ. Vaughan Williams’ Prelude and Fugue in C minor displays a gritty, truculent brand of counterpoint that anticipates the dissonance and fury of his Symphony No 4 in F minor. William Mathias’s Recessional is a classic ‘Organ Fireworks’ number: an athletic display of quick-fire semiquavers alternating with march-like passages with a tramping bass, and ending with a colourful, crashing explosion of notes.