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YOUTHFUL FRESHNESS

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Gareth Green gives the final organ recital
in Derby Cathedral's summer series,
and MIKE WHEELER was in the audience

 

Gareth Green, one-time assistant organist at Wakefield Cathedral and now freelance, had the job of wrapping up this year's Derby Cathedral organ recital series (Derby, UK, 20 September 2008), for which he devised an effective programme alternating between forthright energy and intimate lyricism.

There was a fine sense of sturdy, youthful freshness to his performance of the opening movement from Elgar's G major Organ Sonata, followed by Howells' Psalm Prelude, Set 1 No 2, whose soft ending, in particular, was beautifully handled.

Mendelssohn's Sonata No 3 was particularly notable for a fine sense of momentum in the first movement fugue, after which Pietro Yon's Toccatina for the flutes was kept spinning along merrily.

The big centre-piece of the evening was 'Joie et Clarté des Corps Glorieux' from Messiaen's Les corps glorieux. Gareth Green drew a brilliant array of colours from the instrument to match the music's dazzling vision.

In a gentle reading of Vaughan Williams' Prelude on 'Rhosymedre', the tune was sharply outlined against background effectively; I was not convinced, though, by the massive slowing-down at the end.

Leighton's Paean was kept bright and alert, with the music's weight and momentum allowed to accumulate without any sense of being artificially pushed. The same applied to the finale of Vierne's Symphony No 1, where a steady tempo paid off in terms of clarity; it was preceded by a gently hypnotic account of 'Clair de Lune' from Vierne's Pièces de fantaisie.

The spoken introductions tended to be over-effusive and a bit too long, but on the whole this was an enjoyable end to this year's series.

Copyright © 23 August 2008 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK

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TIMOTHY NOON

CATHY LAMB'S DERBY RECITAL

NAJI HAKIM

A FOUR ORGANIST RECITAL

JONATHAN SCOTT

MARTIN NEARY

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