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DYNAMIC EXTREMES

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MIKE WHEELER enjoys
Timothy Noon's recital of Bach,
Bohm, Dubois, Messiaen and Widor

 

This was evening of dynamic extremes. Timothy Noon, Director of Music at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, took Derby Cathedral's Compton instrument through as wide a range of volume as I've heard from it (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 6 August 2008).

Timothy Noon
Timothy Noon

At the quiet end of the spectrum came the start of his opening piece, the somewhat Mendelssohnian Fiat Lux by Théodore Dubois, from where he contrived a seamless crescendo into the big final pages. Even more hushed were moments in the Intermezzo of Widor's 6th Symphony, with which he ended the evening. The performance of the entire work was marked by tremendous drive and tonal variety, though a touch of registration overload rather clouded the detail at the end of the first movement.

After the Dubois came a welcome reminder of German organ music before Bach, in the form of Georg Bohm's Vater Unser in Himmelreich, engagingly played, with clearly laid-out textures, though rhythms were not entirely secure. Bach himself was represented by his Prelude and Fugue in G, BWV541, both sections of which got some buoyantly lively playing.

Timothy Noon's chosen Messiaen piece was 'Combat de la Mort et de la Vie' from Les Corps Glorieux. He pitched into the first half with ferocious energy, giving the music weight as well as momentum. In total contrast, the serenity of the slow second half was sustained with remarkable concentration.

The Widor followed straight after, but a longer break was needed between the two -- my only major complaint in an otherwise splendid recital.

Copyright © 12 August 2008 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK

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CATHY LAMB'S DERBY RECITAL

NAJI HAKIM

A FOUR ORGANIST RECITAL

JONATHAN SCOTT

MARTIN NEARY

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