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Music for Organ and Brass Band CD
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Oeuvres de Moussorgski, E Elgar, Walton / Arthur Wills à l'orgue de la Cathédrale de Ely - The Cambridge Cooperative Band
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24 November 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful recording. The marches by Elgar and Walton are performed with the just the right amount of pomp and circumstance while David Read's trumpet solo in "Touch Her Soft Lips and Part" strikes a contrasting note of tenderness. Organist Will's fine composition "The Fenlands" rounds out the album nicely. However, the true gem of the recording is the stunning version of Elgar's "Nimrod" from "The Enigma Variations." I remember being at Interlochen Arts Academy in the late 1980's and playing this recording of "Nimrod" for some fellow music students. One of them promptly offered to trade any CD from his own very fine collection for this recording. Indeed, we played "Nimrod" over and over again, never tiring of its ethereal beauty, here so admirably conveyed by Will's arrangement and the performers. In fact, I've just listened to "Nimrod" as played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Solti, and I'm convinced that the Cambridge version is the keeper, due in no small part to David Read's sensitive conducting. Unlike the fine Chicago recording, Read seems to have intuitively understood that with "Nimrod", less is more. That is, he chooses to have his band play the piece with very little rubato and let Elgar's heavenly harmonic progressions do the work. His choice pays off handsomely, as will your own if you choose to buy this lovely disc.
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Amazon.com: 1 reviews
11 August 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
5 people found this helpful.
This CD is collected from two albums that were made in the early '80's. The prime reason for buying this disc is Arthur Wills's 1980 recording of his transcription for organ of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. It is absolutely thrilling. It has all the color of Ravel's famous orchestration, with an even greater expressivity than can be obtained from the less personal symphony orchestra. The registrations are continually enlightening, and the big moments are conveyed with suitable weight and lots of virtuosity. Wills has used the Ely Cathedral organ to what sounds like the best possible advantage. The early digital recording is big sounding, but with lots of detail. This is one of the very finest organ recordings I've ever heard. As for the remaining works for brass and organ, they were recorded in 1982 and sound a bit more distant than the Mussorgsky. The Elgar and Walton marches go very well, with the organ punctuating the big moments of the works. As for Wills's own music, it is not memorable but contains some thrilling moments for the massed brass and organ, brilliantly recorded. I would recommend this album to the organ collector or to anyone willing to try out a new take on Pictures at an Exhibition.
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