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CD Review

Percy Whitlock

Organ Music

  • Organ Sonata in C minor
  • Five Short Pieces
  • Fantasie Choral #1 in D Flat Major
John Scott at the organ of St. Paul's Cathedral
Hyperion CDA67470 73m DDD
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Percy Whitlock is definitely a composer who deserves a reappraisal and this disc of superbly played and recorded organ works will go some way in starting that off. These three works are amongst the finest in the organ repertoire with the Organ Sonata definitely Whitlock's masterpiece.

John Scott is one of the longest serving organists to the cause of British music and he is definitely well suited to the travails of the complex Organ Sonata. The opening Grave-Animato contains some interesting tonal shifts and the magnificent St. Paul's Organ fairly resounds in all its glorious splendour. The final Choral is also imposing in its mammoth like structure that has Scott sorely tested but coming out in flying colours.

The Five Short Pieces from 1929 are also lovely little works with the Folk Tune particularly cheerful. Scott is again very persuasive in his playing, making the most out of the various tonalities of the St. Paul's instrument. The disc concludes with a spanking rendition of the Fantasie Choral #1 in B Flat Major, which has Scott on top form. The recording is truly spectacular on all fronts and the copious notes accompanying the disc serve their admirable task of putting Percy Whitlock on the pedestal he deserves.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech