<< -- 2 -- Roderic Dunnett TEWKESBURY VARIATIONS
The Milton Organ dates from 1631, when Robert Dallam built a new organ for
Magdalen College, Oxford. John Milton, no less, is reputed to have played it
during its brief relocation to Hampton Court Palace prior to the Restoration of
Charles II. Following a 1690s remodelling at Magdalen it was sold on to Tewkesbury
in 1736, and over the next two centuries acquired Swell, Echo and Solo departments
during rebuilds by the great Henry Willis and later Walker's.
The current four-manual restoration is by Kenneth Jones and Associates Pipe
Organs of Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, builders of the organ for Dublin's
National Concert Hall of Ireland and Christ Church Cathedral, and of instruments in a
host of other striking locations. Prominent among these are Great St Mary's organ
in Cambridge, Trinity College organ in the University of Melbourne, Australia,
the organ at Rugby School, Warwickshire, UK and the Margaret Reynolds memorial
organ in River Road Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, as well as organs
in China (at the Chinese Central Music Conservatory, Fang Zhuang, Beijing) and
Japan (for a Catholic church near Hiroshima).
Carleton Etherington, a former winner of the Royal College of Organists'
'Performer of the Year' Award and a pupil of Peter Hurford, David Sanger and
Nicholas Danby -- in UK terms the credentials don't come much better than that --
is one of both the Midlands' and England's outstanding solo organists and
broadcasters. He also serves as organist to Tewkesbury Abbey, following a period
as assistant to Simon Lindley at Leeds Parish Church.
Carleton Etherington. © Adrian Burrows
This is a magnificently inventive programme for a resplendent instrument, and
Etherington's talents serve both superbly. As you'd expect, he knows this
Tewkesbury organ backwards, and proves especially masterly at finding subtle
and unexpected nuances of registration that inform, colour and penetrate not
just solo work but even the thickest forte registrations.
Copyright © 24 May 2003
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK