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Gillian Weir On Stage At The Organ Of Symphony Hall

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Price: £20.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Wei on 22 Jun. 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"11 Toccatas and Tea for Two"

Dame Gillian Weir as a distinguished concert organist needs no further introduction. This double-CD set consists almost entirely of Toccatas but these are mainly less well-known pieces. We have Toccatas from composers from Austria, Britain, Italy to Russia and the works span over three-and-a-half centuries. These works would delight audience in a recital.

The opening Toccata and Fugue ("Dorian" BWV532) is heavy in texture especially with the use of pedal 32' and reeds towards the end. It is a proclamation of power at the outset but at risk of giving listeners indigestion. But don't be put off: things lighten up a bit thereafter. The other pieces consist of a variety of styles, from Baroque to Gregorian themes to more modern rhythms and clashing harmonies; and the change of registration occurs frequently to keep the listener attentive.

The set of six variations on 'Tea for Two' by William McVicar, the present curator of the Royal Festival Hall organ, is a pastiche of familiar themes and a portrait of six organists.

The whole programme concludes with a flurry display of the Trompette en charmade and 'pulling out all the stops' so to speak. It is spectacular throughout. I'm left marvelled at the magnificence of the instrument and the virtuosity of Gillian Weir. She has a fluent and dazzling style and her command of the instrument is truly remarkable. The pieces are predominantly loud to very loud so you might want to listen to a selection at a time.

This is not the first recording of the Birmingham Klais organ: Thomas Trotter has made several. The present set's sound is closer than Trotter's. It would have been informative to give us details of registration in the booklet.
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