Malcolm Archer - Sounds Of Fotheringhay

Published Tuesday 24th January 2006
Malcolm Archer - Sounds Of Fotheringhay
Malcolm Archer - Sounds Of Fotheringhay

STYLE: Classical
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
LABEL: Lammas LAMM191D
RRP: £13.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This album brings Malcolm Archer, the organist of St Paul's Cathedral, out to rural Northamptonshire to showcase the new organ that was installed in 2000. The instrument is Opus 22 and its builder, Vincent Woodstock, also produced this recording. Both men should take pride in what they have achieved: the musical selection shows off the character, versatility and colours of the instrument. The specification, helpfully included in the CD booklet, tells us that this is not the most complex of instruments but our ears tell us that this does not matter. The central item on the programme consists of movements four to seven of Fran├žois Couperin's "Messe Pour Les Couvenants" and the recital ends with J S Bach's "Prelude And Fugue In E Flat: St Anne". Other selections come from Ritter, Stanley, Travers, Sweelinck, Buxtehude and two more from Bach. Archer is undoubtedly a fine organist and this is an enjoyable collection for those who like to use instrumental music as an aid to contemplation. Personally, I found the music too similar and would have liked to hear more contrasts: it might be too obvious a choice but Bach's "Toccata And Fugue" would have livened things up. Pleasant but not essential, even for organ buffs.

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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