ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Winchester Cathedral Organ Spectacular
PERFORMER: David Hill (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: GCCD 4028
As he quits the organ loft of Winchester Cathedral after 13 years and goes interstellar, David Hill surprises with a disc for the cathedral-shop punters. Organ Spectacular is a welcome addition to his regrettably small discography, for here is a truly exceptional player, demonstrating a range of gesture only rarely heard on an organ disc. Admittedly the eclectic programming demands this; Walton’s Orb and Sceptre is made into a glittering display of technique, while Guilmant’s intriguing transcription of the slow movement of Debussy’s String Quartet is played with due introspection.
Christopher Herrick’s ninth and latest Organ Fireworks disc takes a trip to the well-worn (Widor’s Toccata) via the sublime and the ridiculous. In the former category is the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue of Bach (arranged by Reger), in grand rhetorical mould. In the latter, the ‘Line Dance’ from the Dance Suite by Noel Rawsthorne, a frolic through your hundred best jiggy tunes. Both are convincing on their own terms, and the other repertoire is interesting and varied. Herrick’s playing seems warmer and more elastic than in his crystalline Bach series, and all the more engaging for it. Hyperion’s sound is transparent and broad as ever (a feature somewhat lacking with David
Hill’s disc). William Whitehead