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Jean Langlais, a contemporary of Messiaen, is challenging to play and listen to. The Suite Médiéval is a musical invocation of the spiritual and corporeal elements of the French mass, beginning with the dramatic entrance of the clergy. During the following movements Mr Gould created an appropriate sense of spirituality by using a range of quieter stops and colours to support the fragments of plainsong which weave throughout the work, binding it together. The final movement Acclamations is an uninhibited expression of joy and fulfilment, calling for a fine technique; Mr Gould did not disappoint.

The final work of the evening was Louis Vierne's Symphony III, a dark work written during a difficult period in the composer's life, and quite possibly the most demanding work of the evening. Of the five movements the Cantilène and Intermezzo explored some of the best stops on the organ, the Swell Hautbois for the haunting, rather lachrymose melody of the Cantilène, and the Great and Choir flutes and nazards for the exchanges during the Intermezzo. The Final brought the work and the evening to a splendid climax which was rewarding for both recitalist and audience.

The recital was well-received by the audience and justifiably so; Mr Gould is an accomplished performer and worth listening to.

The recital series in the cathedral is not just of interest to organists; it is worthy of the attention of any serious keyboard student as it offers the opportunity to see and hear some of the finest English and international keyboard players of the age. Any student of music can learn a great deal about performance technique, musicianship and style from the recitalists.

Copyright © 29 August 2007 Tony Westerman, Derby UK



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