Graeme Kay
Choir & Organ
October 2021

Approaching his ninth decade, his 50th album for Hyperion and a veteran of over 700 organ concerts in Nordic countries, Christopher Herrick has featured many Scandinavian organs in his ‘Organ Fireworks’ and ‘Organ Dreams’ series. Here he returns to a favourite: the 1930 Steinmeyer organ of Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, which he has seen progress from being ‘underpowered and incomplete’ through to its triumphant 2014 rebuild by Kuhn, and relocation within the building. Herrick revels in the seemingly limitless expressive possibilities of its IV/152 specification in a programme which plays engagingly on the theme of ‘Northern Light’, featuring the idiomatic works of contemporary Scandinavian organist-composers Mons Leidvin Takle, Christian Praestholm, Anders S. Börjesson, Hans-André Stamm and Sverre Eftestøl, alongside music by Iain Farrington, Percy Fletcher, Gigout and Brahms.

Herrick’s meticulous musicianship and trademark virtuosity are on display in a feast of toccata-like movements, not least in the hair-raisingly difficult pedal runs of Pietro Yon’s second concert study, Flying Feet. There is huge entertainment value in this sparkling CD, and organists will surely want to plunder it for Nordic repertoire novelties. Outstanding.