COMPOSERS: Anderson,Bonaventure & Cresswell,Mcguire,McQueen,Nelson,Weir
ALBUM TITLE: 2000 Nails
WORKS: Works for Organ, various.
PERFORMER: Michael Bonaventure (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: DCD 34013
Given the association of the organ with devotional music for use in church, it is no accident that this enterprising recital from Michael Bonaventure’s is on the sprawling organ in Edinburgh University’s McEwan Hall. The disparate pieces presented here, including those drawing on sacred resonances, are resolutely intended for use in concerts. The title track, Ian McQueen’s 2000 Nails, is the 20-minute centrepiece, making full use of the instrument’s possibilities. There is an intense hush to much of McQueen’s meditation on sacrifice that makes the power of its climaxes all the more telling.
This is a notable aspect of the best works feature here. When faced with the possibility of sustained power, it takes a clear compositional mind to exercise restraint. Eddie McGuire’s chirpy Prelude IV clearly seeks to charm rather than dazzle, whilst there is a clear sightedness to Avril Anderson’s semi-minimalist Repetitive Strain.
Bonaventure commissioned all of these works and he is a thoroughly convincing advocate. His registrations combine colour with clarity, captured in atmospheric sound, from the joyful splashing of Judith Weir’s Ettrick Banks to the intense low throbbing cluster that dominates the end of his own Animus VI. Christopher Dingle