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The Grand Organ Of The Royal Albert Hall / Gillian Wier


Release Date: 10/25/2005 
Label:  Priory Records   Catalog #: 859   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz LisztHerbert HowellsCharles Hubert ParryJohn Cook,   ... 
Performer:  Gillian Weir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A landmark recording with Weir and instrument a perfect partnership.

The sight and sound of the Royal Albert Hall organ are familiar to Proms-goers but for those who regard it as merely a noisy backdrop to the orchestral works of Elgar, Mahler, Strauss and others, this CD will come as a revelation. There’s a wealth of colourful quiet registers on the newly restored instrument which are fully exploited by Dame Gillian Weir, including a soft percussion Carillon stop heard during Liszt’s Ad nos Fantasia.

This giant composition receives a truly authentic 19th-century Romantic-style performance from Weir with an unhurried approach to the slow middle movement and rhythmic virtuosity in the rapid outer sections.
Read more The vast tutti of the organ makes the C major conclusion even more glorious than usual and Weir’s account of this piece is one of the most spectacular you’ll ever hear.

The other solo works are equally successful. Howells’s Rhapsody is passionate and eloquent, and Parry’s Toccata and Fugue has a dignified flow. In comparison, Cook and Lanquetuit’s pieces may seem lightweight but the former has some attractive jazzy elements and the latter is as dazzling a French toccata as you’d hear from Dupré, Widor et al. Meanwhile, the transcriptions of Elgar and Liszt are entirely convincing thanks to Weir’s skill as a colourist: it’s good to hear Pomp and Circumstance No 1 without the words!

Priory has done the RAH organ proud with an excellent recording and a comprehensive booklet. One must salute the endurance of Weir and engineer Paul Crichton for making this disc during the hall’s only available hours – 1am to 6am. This is an exceptionally fine CD that I’m sure will become a landmark recording.

-- Christopher Nickol, Gramophone [7/2005]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fantasy and Fugue for Organ, S 259 "Ad nos, ad salutarem" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 28 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Royal Albert Hall, London, England (11/18/2004 - 11/20/2004) 
2.
Légendes (2) for Piano, S 175: no 2, St Francis de Paule walks on water by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; Rome, Italy 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Lionel Rogg.
Royal Albert Hall, London, England (11/18/2004 - 11/20/2004) 
3.
Rhapsodies (3) for Organ, Op. 17: no 3 in C sharp minor by Herbert Howells
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; England 
4.
Toccata and Fugue for Organ "The Wanderer" by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1918; England 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Royal Albert Hall, London, England (11/18/2004 - 11/20/2004) 
5.
Fanfare for Organ by John Cook
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Royal Albert Hall, London, England (11/18/2004 - 11/20/2004) 
6.
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma": Variation 9, Nimrod by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898-1899; England 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Royal Albert Hall, London, England (11/18/2004 - 11/20/2004) 
7.
Pomp and Circumstance Marches (5), Op. 39: no 1 in D major by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; England 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Notes: Royal Albert Hall, London, England (11/18/2004 - 11/20/2004) 
8.
Toccata for Organ by Marcel Lanquetuit
Performer:  Gillian Weir (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Live  Royal Albert Hall, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: Royal Albert Hall, London, England (11/18/2004 - 11/20/2004) 

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