Bach, Van Den Kerckhoven, Hindemith, Cabena, Stanley, Walond, Vierne, etc

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COMPOSERS: Bach,Cabena,etc,Hindemith,Stanley,Van Den Kerckhoven,Vierne,Walond
LABELS: Classical Recording Company
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: The Organ of Pembroke College, Oxford
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: David Titterington (organ)
David Titterington returns to his alma mater for this recital, turning in an elegant, colourful display on the magnificent Létourneau instrument installed in the Damon Wells chapel. His programme ranges wide, demonstrating brilliantly the versatility of this gratifyingly solid-sounding organ. The earlier material takes in the English 18th-century voluntary composers John Stanley and William Walond, a D minor Fantasia by the obscure Flemish organist-composer Abraham van den Kerckhoven, Bach’s swaggering G major Prelude and Fugue, BWV 541, and a suite assembled by Titterington himself of anonymous pieces plucked from the Livre d’orgue de Montréal, a collection brought to that city in 1724 but undiscovered until 1979. There’s also 20th-century fare. Hindemith’s Second Sonata is given with a revealing sense of scale and impetus (it can so easily sound wooden without careful articulation and registration), three pieces (from the 24 en style libre, originally for harmonium) by Louis Vierne are improved by the clarity of instrument and acoustic, worlds away from the swamping resonance of a vast French cathedral. There’s also something to intrigue, in the vividly imagined if rather conservative three Portraits by the alarmingly prolific Australian composer Barrie Cabena, all taken from an amassed collection called Cabena’s Homage. Each is dedicated to, and reflects, a specific personality, the second, ‘Titterington’s Toccatina’, referring to this artist and bearing the frightening opus number of 274. Stephen Pettitt