An exuberant performance
MIKE WHEELER reviews the last of
Derby Cathedral's summer organ recitals,
given by Tom Corfield
Tom Corfield neatly tied some of the threads of this year's series together
on 24 August 2005 by starting with the Fantasy on 'Sine Nomine' (the tune on which David
Briggs improvised impressively three weeks earlier) by Francis Jackson
(whose new Chorale Preludes were premièred by David Johnson the week
before). It was a satisfying display of undemonstratively thoughtful
musicianship on the part of both composer and performer.
Music based on pre-existing tunes formed, in fact, an important strand in
the programme. In J S Bach's Partita on 'Sei gegrüsset, Jesu, gütig', BWV
768, the contrasts between the variations were vividly pointed up by a
judicious choice of registration that kept the chorale tune always in the
foreground. The same was true in Jiri Ropek's Variations on 'Victimae
paschali laudes', in which the plainsong melody is heard against a
succession of changing backgrounds. All were sharply characterised, and the
final fugue carefully paced.
In between, 'Lied', from Vierne's 24 pieces in free style (a change to the
advertised programme) showed Tom Corfield's mastery of delicate, subtle
shadings. Similarly, Frank Bridge's Allegretto grazioso, elegantly handled,
was a gentle interlude before William Mathias's Jubilate, an exuberant
performance full of colour and incisive rhythms.
Tom Corfield moved to the Stow chamber organ for clear-textured accounts of
three pieces by Tallis from the Mulliner book. Then it was back to the main
Compton instrument for the big finish -- and they don't come much bigger than
Reger's Toccata and Fugue in D minor and major. The huge dynamic and
textural contrasts were clearly relished, and the mounting sense of
excitement brought to the Fugue was almost tangible.
Copyright © 5 September 2005
Mike Wheeler, Derby UK
REVIEWS OF EARLIER RECITALS IN THE SERIES