James Thomas, David Humphreys - The English Cathedral Series Volume XVII

Published Tuesday 25th September 2012
James Thomas, David Humphreys - The English Cathedral Series Volume XVII
James Thomas, David Humphreys - The English Cathedral Series Volume XVII

STYLE: Classical
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 130964-
LABEL: Regent REGCD383
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

To have reached Volume XVII in a series tells us that Regent Records must be doing something right. In this latest addition we hear the first solo recording of the magnificent new Harrison and Harrison organ of St Edmundsbury Cathedral played by the cathedral organist James Thomas and his assistant, David Humphreys - although not, I would add, at the same time. Biographical details of the musicians and a fuller technical spec with photo of the organ are included in the CD booklet. Throughout the series we have applauded the clarity of the recordings and this one maintains the standard. There is, though, a proviso. The programme has been selected to demonstrate the versatility of the newly built instrument but, frankly, it left this reviewer unengaged. The playing is good and the sound quality excellent but the tunes left me cold. We start well, with Stanford's "Fantasia & Toccata In D Minor" and finish triumphantly with Lemare's setting of Elgar's magnificent "Pomp And Circumstance" but what comes between is distinctly uninteresting with the honourable exception of Norman Cocker's jolly "Tuba Tune". I do not know why the rest of the programme failed to grip. Usually I like Messiaen who has two pieces included: "Le Banquet Celeste" and "Joie et Clarite des Corps Glorieux" from 'Les Corps Glorieux'. However, do not allow my taste - or lack of it - to deter you from investigating if this is a series that you have been collecting.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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