WORKS: Suite française; Huit pièces modales; Cinq méditations sur l’apocalypse
PERFORMER: Stephen Farr (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: PRCD 458
The recitals by King and Farr have been recorded by Priory for their ongoing Great European Organs series. King’s eclectic programme suits the new Klais instrument at Bath Abbey well. The Liszt and Saint-Saëns come off well here, but the pieces which seem absolutely right for it and therefore hold the listener’s attention are the engaging Triptico del buen pastor by Guridi and Eben’s witty Hommage à Dietrich Buxtehude.
Stephen Farr has chosen an all-Langlais programme for his recital from Odense Cathedral, Denmark. It’s perhaps one of Marcussen’s finest instruments, and Langlais’s timbral palette and sonic imagery transfer convincingly to its clear choruses and characteristic solo and ensemble registrations. Farr’s playing is always alert to the textural nuances and timing in Langlais’s scores, and his reading of the Cinq méditations sur l’apocalypse is thoroughly enthralling. Scott Farrell’s disc from St Edmundsbury Cathedral has much to offer those interested in French repertoire.
It’s entitled ‘French Connections’, and a well-researched booklet traces some of the most creative associations that the French organ world can offer. Farrell’s playing does justice to the featured composers, and although the Vierne perhaps lacks the expressive suppleness required, the Langlais and (particularly) the Jongen sustain the listener’s interest through some judicious playing and tasteful use of this organ’s timbres. Andrew McCrea