York Minster's Robert Sharpe
plays the organ at Derby Cathedral,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
Transcriptions, of one kind or another, formed a major strand in this recital by Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster (Derby Cathedral, Derby UK, 22 July 2009).
Following an alert, breezy account of Buxtehude's Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne -- the Prelude's second section positively skipped along -- and one of Dupré's Cortège et Litanie which allowed the music to make unhurried progress towards its final blaze of sound, came Pierre Cochereau's Berceuse à la mémoire de Louis Vierne. This is one of several pieces transcribed from Cochereau's recorded improvisations. The contrasts of motion and stillness were sympathetically treated, with the final wind-down handled particularly effectively.
Paul Spicer's Kiwi Fireworks is a set of variations on the New Zealand national anthem. The opening movement, rather in the ceremonial style of a baroque French overture, is followed by four rhythmically intricate movements that need exactly the kind of finely controlled, incisive playing they received on this occasion.
The Andante Sostenuto from Widor's Symphonie Gothique calmed everything down before Jean Guillou's transcription of the six-part Ricercar from J S Bach's Musical offering. Robert Sharpe kept the different strands clear, though the great roar of sound that had built up by the end (more Guillou's doing than Sharpe's, I suspect) seemed a bit out of place.
W R B Tann's transcription of the first piece from Book Four of Mendelssohn's Songs without words was given sympathetically flowing treatment, and the recital ended with Walton's Spitfire Prelude and Fugue in Tom Winpenny's effective transcription, effectively projected.
Copyright © 30 July 2009 Mike Wheeler,