Peter Gould helps celebrate the
seventieth anniversary of
Derby Cathedral's Compton Organ,
as noted by MIKE WHEELER
Derby Cathedral's Compton Organ is seventy years old this year, inaugurated by George Thalben-Ball in December 1939; the items on his programme are being included in this recital (Derby Cathedral, Derby, UK, 5 August 2009) and the next in the Cathedral's series.
Like Thalben-Ball, Peter Gould began with J S Bach's G major Fantasia, BWV 572, with a nicely-judged contrast between the bright and bubbly opening and a more stately tone in the second section. After short jolly contributions from Haydn (his two Marches for the Derbyshire Cavalry) and Stanley (an Air and Allegro), Karg-Elert's Nun danket alle Gott was given an appropriately grand manner.
The second of Handel's Six Fugues or Voluntarys, published in 1735, which is also the finale of the Concerto Grosso Op 3 No 3, was kept nicely on its toes, as were Two Minuets and a Gavott by Purcell. In between came a fine, sturdy reading of Mendelssohn's Sonata No 3. The first movement fugue, in particular, was given a strong sense of purpose, with a real feeling of culmination when the opening music returned.
After Duruflé's Choral varié sur le 'Veni Creator', ending with a nicely-shaped account of the final toccata, came Chanson by Edward Shippen Barnes, a little-known English pupil of Vierne. Peter Gould's lovingly-moulded performance gave a fair idea of the kind of organ music Delius might have written.
The evening ended with Liszt's gothic barnstormer, the Fantasia and Fugue on BACH, something of a Peter Gould speciality. It was a big-boned reading that nevertheless resisted the temptation to smother details in a welter of sound. There was a fine air of mystery to the start of the first fugue, and the moment of stillness just before the end was highly effective.
Copyright © 12 August 2009 Mike Wheeler,