Notes and Editorial Reviews
Philip Scriven (org)
REGENT 210 (76:01)
Prelude, Fugue, & Variation.
Organ Symphony No. 2:
“Transports de joie.”
An Occasional Trumpet Voluntary.
Adagio for Strings.
Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain
This is a disc from 2004 that has just finally crossed our editor’s desk for review. Philip Scriven, the organist of Lichfield Cathedral in England, where he also conducts the Cathedral Choir, began his musical career as a chorister himself at Westminster Abbey. After studying organ at the Royal Academy of Music, he held scholarships at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and St. John’s College, Cambridge, before further studies in Vienna and New York.
Scriven has previously received excellent reviews for his CD of Belgian choral works with the Lichfield Cathedral Choir on Regent 241, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this organ recital as well. The disc’s title,
is obviously just a marketing ploy and not a fair description of the entire disc or of Scriven’s deep sensitivity as an artist. Many of these works, such as Bonnet’s
the Franck, the Vierne Scherzo, and of course Barber’s
Adagio for Strings,
are all fairly quiet pieces, and throughout them Scriven shows what a superb musician he really is. This is organ playing of the highest order, at least as good as any big-name organist I’ve heard, including Biggs, Alain, and Guillou. He is spot-on in each and every piece in both mood and color.
The program is well chosen, so that even if one is not a fan, for instance, of Messiaen’s rather thick and demonic “Transports de joie” from
one can take it in stride as one of the few harmonically thick and thorny pieces on the disc. (I like Simon Preston’s equally thorny
much better, as music, than the Messiaen piece.) The Lichfield Cathedral Organ appears to have a fairly wide range of volume and color, and it must also be noted that Regent’s sound quality is vibrant and lifelike. This disc is a winner!
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Works on This Recording
Alleluyas by Simon (John) Preston
Philip Scriven (Organ)
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