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Organ & trumpets

British Organ Music of 1937
Bairstow and Whitlock sonatas
Colm Carey

Arrangements of Rheinberger, Strauss & Elgar
John Wallace & Jonathan Freeman Attwood (trumpets) Colm Carey (organ)

Colm Carey, now established as a leading British organist, has come up with an interesting selection of romantic compositions by English organists, a genre not to my immediate taste, but I was quickly won over by Whitlock's exuberant sonata, written under the influence of hearing Rachmaniniv's second symphony.

Two huge movements to start and finish, a tranquil Canzona and a cunning, balletic Scherzetto between, 'the finest of very few good, light British organ pieces' (Jonathan Lilley). Bairstow's sonata places a strong allegro centrally, flanked by quiet slow movements and Harris's Flourish is a pleasing rarity. Full specifications are given of the splendid L é Tourneau organ in Washington. Recommended.

Doubts, though, about the trumpets disc, with editions prepared by Colm Carey, and offered as Trumpets that time forgot, to fill a perceived gap, i.e. that there's little 19 C music for organ and trumpets, which go well together! The case for this exercise is argued persuasively and interestingly over 5 pages by John Wallace & Jonathan Freeman Attwood

Arrangements are all the rage at present (see the desirable Viola & Accordion disc last month). I can't enthuse about Elgar's 2nd Organ Sonata (connected with the Severn Suite) in this arrangement. Reasonable to re-arrange Rheinberger's Trio Op 149 (originally for organ, violin and cello) for the trumpet/organ medium, but it is treacly, uninspired music, and dances from Richard Strauss's Bourgeois Gentilhomme are definitely better as usually heard.

Throughout this CD I enjoyed the bright tone of the trumpets, but found Hereford's cathedral organ as recorded unalluring for home listening. One for trumpet departments and their students?


© Peter Grahame Woolf