Tom Corfield plays the organ of Derby Cathedral,
heard by MIKE WHEELER
Tom Corfield began his recital (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 12 August 2009) with Mendelssohn's Prelude and Fugue in G, Op 37 No 2, a suave account of the Prelude offset by a finely shaped reading of the darker Fugue. The first piece in his share of items from George Thalben-Ball's inaugural recital (see review of recital, 5 August 2009) was a charming piece of Georgian elegance, Air with variation by Michael Festing.
In his introduction he described Paul Krause's Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele as 'lush'. This was an understatement -- it was positively overgrown with harmonic and contrapuntal tendrils. It's just as well it had a player with sufficiently clear vision to hack through the jungle.
Like Mendelssohn, Parry paid his dues to J S Bach in his G major Fantasia and Fugue. The performance brought plenty of vigour to the Fantasia and, in the Fugue, a fine swing to the rhythm. An Andante in F by Dussek, arranged from a flute sonata, provided an airy interlude before the sombre meditations of Mendelssohn's Sonata No 6. In the first movement the irruption of the fiery fourth variation was properly startling, and the change of gear for the fugue was convincingly handled.
The finale from Dupré's Suite Bretonne has to be one of his most bizarre pieces. Whatever his intentions about recreating the sound of church bells, what comes across is almost a kind of comic ghoulishness, like music for Alfred Hitchcock at his most tongue-in-cheek. A fluent account of Bonnet's Elfes cleared the air before Franz Schmidt's Prelude and Fugue in D. The flamboyant Prelude (which later became the final chorus of Schmidt's oratorio The book with seven seals) benefited from being slightly reined in, leaving room for a sturdy account of the Fugue to crown both the work and this recital.
Copyright © 19 August 2009 Mike Wheeler,