New Organ CD
César Franck - Organ Works - John Challenger
Available: Salisbury Cathedral Shop (£12.50) or online.
Assistant Director of Music, John Challenger, releases his second album on the Cathedral’s Father Willis Organ. This album was recorded prior to the dismantling of Salisbury's famous instrument, which was built in 1876 and is currently undergoing major restoration. In this new recording, John plays organ works by the nineteenth-century composer and founder of the French Symphonic organ school, César Franck. The programme includes Franck’s Pièce Heroïque, the Prelude, Fugue and Variation, along with the gigantic Three Chorals for Organ, which Franck composed in 1890, immediately prior to his death. The rich sounds of the Cathedral's iconic pipe organ, the building's acoustic, and the grandeur of the repertoire combine to make this disc a must-have.
This is the first album to be released independently by Salisbury Cathedral, and all proceeds from sales of this recording will help support our music. The album (£12.50) is available to buy at the Cathedral Shop, at the Cathedral’s 2019 South Transept Recital Series, or online.
1. Pièce héroïque (8:44)
2. Prélude, Fugue et Variation (10:15)
3. Cantabile (6:30)
4. Trois Chorals pour Grand Orgue – No 1 in E major (16:04)
5. Trois Chorals pour Grand Orgue – No 2 in B minor (14:54)
6. Trois Chorals pour Grand Orgue – No 3 in A minor (12:53)
Total timings: (69:23)
Engineer, Producer and Editor: Andrew Post
Producers: David Halls and Daniel Mathieson
Photography: Ash Mills
"A beautifully presented disc which all lovers of organ music – and of Franck – would be delighted to have. With daring registrations and exciting changes of dynamic, the performances are full of drama, while the more reflective passages are immensely moving. Challenger gets right inside this wonderful music – throughout the disc Franck’s music feels gorgeously evocative." Roderic Dunnett (Church Times)
"From the outset, this is a work of bold intensity. Challenger sets himself a hard task but achieves it admirably, both in terms of his outstanding playing and his sophisticated registration. A musician that has the chops to understand the music, recast it for Salisbury thanks to a thorough understanding of that organ’s complex character, and play it with the gravitas and the subtlety required is rare indeed, and the disc is welcome because of that." Hi-Fi+ Magazine
"Challenger displays technical wizardry and infinite sonic variety throughout." The Guardian.