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MUSICIANSHIP AND PANACHE

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Michael Harris at the organ of Derby Cathedral,
heard by TONY WESTERMAN

 

Intelligent, informed musicianship characterised Michael Harris's playing throughout his recital at Derby Cathedral [17 August 2011], leaving the audience with the impression that every note and phrase had been considered as part of an aesthetically pleasing whole.

Mr Harris's programme included several pieces that are not widely heard on the recital circuit, though from the opening bars of Faulkes' Grand Choeur in D the high standard of playing was established for the evening; the brisk phrasing in the opening section played well to the cathedral's pleasant acoustic whilst the more contemplative middle section was graced by subtle, expressive phrasing.

The first bars of Handel's Organ Concerto Op 4 No 6 in B flat would be familiar to many, thanks to Handel's propensity to borrow his own musical ideas, as well as those of others. Choosing the oldest pipework on the organ complemented Mr Harris's stylish performance of this elegant piece, though one might have wished for a little more ornamentation in repeated sections and in the slow movement. It was, however, a beautifully controlled performance with consistent phrasing and articulation...

Copyright © 19 August 2011 Tony Westerman,
Derby UK

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DERBY CATHEDRAL

WILLIAM FAULKES

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL

JOHANN CHRISTIAN HEINRICH RINCK

AUGUST GOTTFRIED RITTER

WILLIAM WOLSTENHOLME

ALEXANDRE GUILMANT

DERBY

ORGAN

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