Bach, Stanley, Saint-Saëns, Duruflé, John Of Lublin, Flagler & Boëllmann

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bach,Durufle,Flagler & Boëllmann,John Of Lublin,Saint-Sa‘ns,Stanley
LABELS: Symphony Hall
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Sounds Spectacular
WORKS: Works by Bach, Stanley, Saint-Saëns, Duruflé, John of Lublin, Flagler & Boëllmann
PERFORMER: Thomas Trotter (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: SH CD 2 (distr. Farringdons, Symphony Hall, Birmingham; 0870 60 60 322)

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Thomas Trotter, celebrating his 20th year as Birmingham city organist, is also organist in residence at Symphony Hall, and opens his recital on its magnificent new Klais organ with the obligatory Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Like his illustrious predecessor in Birmingham, George Thalben-Ball, he doesn’t hang about making unwarranted melodramatic gestures in the Toccata. It sounds urgent and thrilling, likewise the beautifully articulated Fugue and Lemare’s inventive transcription of Saint-Saëns’s Danse macabre. Short works by Stanley and John of Lublin (c1540) show the amazing versatility of the Klais (listen to the antiphonal reeds in the reverberation chambers), while the Variations on ‘Old Folks at Home’ by Isaac Flagler (1842-1909) are as humorous as they are technically treacherous. Trotter’s performances of Duruflé’s Suite and Boëllmann’s Suite gothique are quite simply the best on disc. They will certainly give your speakers a workout (the Klais is superbly captured by Martin Cotton) but here, as throughout the disc, Trotter manages to combine a refined stylistic sense and innate musical taste with fascinatingly detailed coloration and breathtaking virtuosity. This is unquestionably one of the finest organ recordings I have ever heard, and confirms Trotter as one of today’s greatest living organists.

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Jeremy Nicholas