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Organs Of Edinburgh

Organs Of Edinburgh / Various
Release Date: 07/10/2012 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34100   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Percy WhitlockAlfred HollinsJean LanglaisLouis Vierne,   ... 
Performer:  John KitchenThomas Laing-ReillyAndrew CaskieDuncan Ferguson,   ... 
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Delphian is an Edinburgh-based label who have, since 2000, been quietly but studiously bringing music-lovers the best of Scottish music and, more often, Scottish performances of great music. They now branch out into this marvellous book - a first, I think, for them. It is a real treat: we are informed that only 2,000 copies will ever be made (mine was number 193) and that, at the time of writing, only 700 were commercially available. My advice is to waste no time and to get a copy while you still can.
 
It’s probably fair to call this a coffee-table book. A glossy hardback of under 90 pages, it features detailed biographies of 22 great instruments that reside in Scotland’s capital. Some are public and famous, such as
Read more the organs of the Usher Hall or the three cathedrals. Some are rare and do most of their playing behind closed doors, such as an instrument from the Edinburgh University’s keyboard collection, or the organ in the home of John Kitchen, Edinburgh’s City Organist. With each organ we get a potted history of the building in which it resides and a detailed description of the instrument itself, together with the instrument’s full specifications. Glossy colour photographs abound, both of the instrument and its settings. The book is a real delight to hold and to thumb through, acting almost as an impromptu history of music in the city: we find out about the public recitals that were so popular when the Usher Hall was built in 1914, the spate of church building that arose in the mid-Victorian era, the dramas of the Reformation and the vexed question of whether music would be allowed in Presbyterian Kirks. Each chapter, normally consisting of only four pages, including photographs and specifications, is scholarly while remaining readable and engaging. You could read the whole thing in less than thirty minutes, but any reader will probably find himself savouring each chapter like a fine wine, accompanied by the music from each instrument which is featured on four generously filled CDs.
 
The running order of the organs on the CDs is the same as that of the text and listening to the whole set is not just a musical tour of Edinburgh, but a tour of what the organ is capable of doing. Each organ is like a distinct character, sound entirely different from one another so that selection is never dull. Predictably, the big public instruments sound thrilling and are given repertoire to match. St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, in particular, conjures a sound of immensity and splendour so as to fulfil the space in which it sits. The St Cuthbert’s organ too sounds especially magnificent: grand and powerful in Gigout’s Grand Choeur Dialogue and sparkling like a kaleidoscope in Vierne’s Carillon de Westminster. Most importantly, perhaps, the engineers capture the environment and acoustic of each building very well indeed: St Thomas’ Junction Road sounds homely and reverberant, while large ceremonial organs like St Giles’ carry a big sound to fill a big space. Only the McEwan Hall organ sounds unusually limited, at least at first, but that’s more because Judith Weir’s Wild Mossy Mountains doesn’t show it off at its best; Avril Anderson’s Repetitive Strain makes up for this later. John Kitchen, the Edinburgh City Organist, writes in the text that “the sound of any organ should be commensurate with the room in which it speaks.” Quite so, and as if to provide a case in point he plays us Sweelinck variations on a practice organ which is located in his own high-ceilinged Edinburgh flat. The sound is utterly charming and its gentle but fruity timbre fits the room perfectly. What a luxury to have a pipe organ in one’s own sitting room!
 
As another case in point, the Enharmonic Chamber Organ of St Cecilia’s Hall, part of Edinburgh University’s collection of early keyboard instruments, comes across as a dignified gent from a former era and is given early Baroque English music to play as a consequence. The result is a wonderfully harmonious match of repertoire to instrument and it allows the listener to revel all the more in both.
 
The selection is also well programmed so as to point up diversity: going from the homely sound of Pilrig St Paul’s to the grandeur of Widor’s 6 th Organ Symphony on the organ of the Metropolitan Cathedral is an arresting change.
 
Even as an Edinburgh resident of many years, there are plenty of entirely new discoveries for me here too. Morningside Parish Church sounds refined, almost wistful in its tone, until a lovely set of variations by Michael Festing shows off its range of colours at its very best. Reid Memorial Church’s organ gives a wonderfully colourful account of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Overture, then a gently musing movement from Warlock’s Capriol Suite. St. Michael’s, Inveresk sounds splendid in Henry Smart’s ceremonial Postlude in D while the organ of the Royal Order of Scotland, a rather small instrument, sounds gentle, almost domestic and it plays smaller repertoire so as to fulfil its sound potential. The organ of Loretto School comes across as more acidic to me, though the gentle ceremony of St Mary’s, Dalkeith makes a good way of rounding off the entire set.
 
Performances are splendid throughout and the engineering can only be praised even more highly when you realise that the majority of the recording was done in the freezing winter of 2009/10, where the low humidity played havoc with many of the featured organs. There is a (somewhat tokenistic) foreword from Alexander McCall Smith. For someone who is an organ lover or a lover of Edinburgh, and there are plenty of both, this would make a wonderful gift. The book is due for release in the UK on 8 November 2010: snap it up while you still can.
 
-- Simon Thompson, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Organ in C minor: 1st movement, Grave by Percy Whitlock
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1936 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Usher Hall, Edinburgh 
Length: 12 Minutes 52 Secs. 
2. Evening Rest, for organ by Alfred Hollins
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Written: 1917 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Usher Hall, Edinburgh 
Length: 7 Minutes 14 Secs. 
3. Suite mediévale en forme de messe basse: Méditation by Jean Langlais
Performer:  Thomas Laing-Reilly (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
4. Pièces de fantaisie - Suite no 3, Op. 54: 6th movement, Carillon de Westminster by Louis Vierne
Performer:  Thomas Laing-Reilly (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1927; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
5. Toccata for Keyboard in F major, BuxWV 157 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Andrew Caskie (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1690; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Palmerston Place Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6. Berceuse Paraphrase by George C. Baker
Performer:  Andrew Caskie (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Palmerston Place Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 7 Minutes 41 Secs. 
7. Fanfare for Organ by William Mathias
Performer:  Andrew Caskie (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; Wales, UK 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Palmerston Place Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
8. Master Tallis's Testament by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Duncan Ferguson (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburg 
Length: 6 Minutes 36 Secs. 
9. Six Fantasies on Hymn Tunes, Op. 72: 5. Veni Emmanuel by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Duncan Ferguson (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1975 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburg 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
10. Prélude, Adagio et Chorale Varié sur le Thème de Veni Creator, Op. 4: Choral Varié by Maurice Duruflé
Performer:  Duncan Ferguson (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1930; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburg 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
11. St Bride, assisted by angels, for organ by Judith Bingham
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Written: 2000 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Freemason's Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 7 Minutes 7 Secs. 
12. Introduction and Variations on a ground bass, for organ by Walter Battison Haynes
Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Freemason's Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 9 Minutes 57 Secs. 
13. Fantasia for Organ on "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" by Johann Ludwig Krebs
Performer:  Michael Harris (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Andrew's and St. George's West Paris 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
14. Variations (6) on a Theme of Corelli, for organ, Op. 56 by Johann Christian H Rinck
Performer:  Michael Harris (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Andrew's and St. George's West Paris 
Length: 10 Minutes 10 Secs. 
15. Elegy for Organ by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Broughton St. Mary's Parish Church, Edin 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
16. Preludes and Fugues (3) for Organ, Op. 37: no 3 in D minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1837; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Broughton St. Mary's Parish Church, Edin 
Length: 8 Minutes 45 Secs. 
17. Evening Song, for organ by Edward Bairstow
Performer:  Peter Backhouse (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Thomas's Junction Road Parish Church 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 
18. Sonata for Organ no 7 in F minor, Op. 127: Allegro non troppo by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Andrew Caskie (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Pilrig St. Paul's Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 7 Minutes 40 Secs. 
19. Elegy, for organ (from A Little Organ Book in Memory of Sir Hubert Parry) by Sir George Thalben-Ball
Performer:  Andrew Caskie (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Pilrig St. Paul's Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
20. Symphony for Organ no 6 in G minor, Op. 42 no 2: 1st movement, Allegro by Charles-Marie Widor
Performer:  Simon Nieminski (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinb 
Length: 9 Minutes 54 Secs. 
21. Mr. Bach's Bottle Bank, for organ by Giles Swayne
Performer:  Simon Nieminski (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinb 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
22. Variationer og modspil (Variations and Counterplays), for organ by Niels C. Rasmussen
Performer:  Nicholas Wearne (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 7 Minutes 38 Secs. 
23. Pieces (3) for Organ: no 3 - Pièce héroïque in B minor, M 37 by César Franck
Performer:  Michael Harris (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh 
Length: 8 Minutes 49 Secs. 
24. Paean for Organ by Kenneth Leighton
Performer:  Michael Harris (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; England 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
25. Voluntary for organ in D minor, Op. 7/3 by John Stanley
Performer:  Nicholas Wearne (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Royal Order of Scotland, Edinburgh 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
26. Ae Fond Kist, for organ by Eddie McGuire
Performer:  Nicholas Wearne (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Royal Order of Scotland, Edinburgh 
Length: 9 Minutes 49 Secs. 
27. Te Deum laudamus, BuxWV 218 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Nicholas Wearne (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinbur 
Length: 13 Minutes 58 Secs. 
28. Wild Mossy Mountains by Judith Weir
Performer:  Michael Bonaventure (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
29. Repetitive Strain, for organ by Avril Anderson
Performer:  Michael Bonaventure (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1995 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh 
Length: 7 Minutes 27 Secs. 
30. Voluntary by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
31. Voluntary for organ (attrib. Benjamin Cosyn) by Anonymous
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
32. Introduction and fugue for organ in A major by James Nares
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
33. Variations on 'Est-ce Mars' by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Netherlands (Holland 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Home of John Kitchen, Edinburgh 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
34. Postlude on a ground for organ by Herbert Murrill
Performer:  Morley Whitehead (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Morningside Parish Church, Edinburgh, Sc 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
35. Largo, Allegro & Aria with 2 variations, for organ by Michael Christian Festing
Performer:  Morley Whitehead (Organ)
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Morningside Parish Church, Edinburgh, Sc 
Length: 5 Minutes 42 Secs. 
36. Andantino for Organ in G minor, M 25 by César Franck
Performer:  Morley Whitehead (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1858; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Morningside Parish Church, Edinburgh, Sc 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
37. Hänsel und Gretel: Overture by Engelbert Humperdinck
Performer:  Roger Fisher (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Reid Memorial Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 9 Minutes 54 Secs. 
38. Capriol Suite: 5th movement, Pieds-en-l'air by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Roger Fisher (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Reid Memorial Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
39. Maytime Gavotte, for organ by Alfred Hollins
Performer:  Roger Fisher (Organ)
Written: 1927 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Reid Memorial Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
40. Postlude for organ in D by Henry Thomas Smart
Performer:  Peter Backhouse (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Michael's Parish Church, Inveresk, M 
Length: 8 Minutes 12 Secs. 
41. Preludes (5) on English Hymn Tunes, Op. 60: East Acklam by Francis Jackson
Performer:  Peter Backhouse (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Michael's Parish Church, Inveresk, M 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
42. Dies resurrectionis, for organ by John McCabe
Performer:  Michael Bonaventure (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Loretto School, Musselburgh, East Lothia 
Length: 7 Minutes 51 Secs. 
43. Organ by Graham Fitkin
Performer:  Michael Bonaventure (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Loretto School, Musselburgh, East Lothia 
Length: 6 Minutes 41 Secs. 
44. Short Piece for organ No. 8 (from 'Twelve Short Pieces for Organ') by Samuel Wesley
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Dalkeith, E 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
45. Short Piece for organ No. 9 ('Gavotte') (from 'Twelve Short Pieces for Organ') by Samuel Wesley
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Dalkeith, E 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
46. Theme and Variations for piano in D major by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1820 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Dalkeith, E 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
47. Voluntary for organ in D minor ('Full Organ with the Trumpet') (from 'Twelve Short Pieces for Organ' by Samuel Wesley
Performer:  John Kitchen (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Dalkeith, E 
Length: 1 Minutes 18 Secs. 
48. Grand choeur dialogué for organ by Eugene Gigout
Performer:  Thomas Laing-Reilly (Organ)
Period: Modern 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh 
Length: 6 Minutes 24 Secs. 
49. Short Preludes and Postludes (6), Op. 101: no 1, Prelude in F major by Charles Villiers Stanford
Performer:  Peter Backhouse (Organ)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1908 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Thomas's Junction Road Parish Church 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
50. Short Preludes and Postludes (6), Op. 101: no 2, Postlude in G minor by Charles Villiers Stanford
Performer:  Peter Backhouse (Organ)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1908 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Thomas's Junction Road Parish Church 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
51. Chorale Preludes (6) BWV 645-650 "Schübler": no 5, Ach bleib' bei uns, BWV 649 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Nicholas Wearne (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
52. Chorale Preludes (6) BWV 645-650 "Schübler": no 4, Meine Seele erhebet den Herren, BWV 648 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Michael Harris (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2009-04/2010 
Venue:  St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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