WORKS: The Nutcracker Suite; Orpheus Suite; Romeo and Juliet Suite; Time and Motion
PERFORMER: Keith John (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: PRCD 532
With the title ‘Rhythmic Energy’ emblazoned on the cover, images of bland, easy-access, ‘mood’ music recordings spring to mind. In this case, the flavour of the disc is somewhat sharper. The title springs from the final section of the suite Time and Motion, written by Keith John, and which began life as a collection of improvisations.
The three movements take the form of a musical progression through time, starting initially from a seamless, arbitrarily moving sequence of cluster chords.
This leads through to a rhythmic tour de force which here allows Keith John to display a formidable command over the new four-manual Klais organ of the Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik. The effect is quite stunning. John is well known for his imaginative arrangements of orchestral works, and the two examples on this disc are a delight.
Magical images are vividly brought to life in the Nutcracker Suite and the Klais organ also provides just the right amount of dramatic punch for the tensions found within the excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Stephen Haylett