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<<  -- 3 --  David Thompson    Voice of an angel

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The Francaix suites offer typical lightness of touch with just a hint of twentieth-century astringency, and Dame Gillian's unfailing ear for colour and instinct for style and idiom reveal the composer's idiomatic mastery of the instrument.

One highlight to whet the appetite? For sheer, unalloyed enjoyment, it has to be the Mozart Fantasia [listen -- CD2 track 23, 2:56-3:48]. Do I again detect Dame Gillian's sense of tongue-in-cheek humour in her registering the outer sections in the manner of the mechanical clock for which the piece was conceived? She comes clean, however, in the occasional touches of rubato, which leave us in no doubt that this is a musician and not an automaton at work. Nor does she fail to notice that this, despite its modest pretensions, is late, mature Mozart, and that the central aria inhabits the sublime operatic world of, say, Cosi fan Tutte. Mozart only rarely features the key of A flat major, but, whenever he does, the music is always ravishingly, heartbreakingly beautiful, and here, Dame Gillian 'sings' it with the voice of an angel.

A wonderful collection, then, perfectly captured by the Priory engineers. Excellent notes on the music by Dame Gillian herself, and all the information the serious organ buff's heart could possibly desire. When the King of Instruments meets the Queen of Executants, the results are very special indeed. Please, Priory, don't stop at Volume 3!

Copyright © 28 December 2001 David Thompson, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - PRIORY PRCD 751

PURCHASE VOLUME ONE FROM AMAZON

CD INFORMATION - PRIORY PRCD 751

PURCHASE VOLUME TWO FROM CROTCHET

 

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