Peter King - Peter King Plays the Klais Organ of Bath Abbey

Published Monday 19th September 2016
Peter King - Peter King Plays the Klais Organ of Bath Abbey
Peter King - Peter King Plays the Klais Organ of Bath Abbey

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
FORMAT: CD Music video

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Organ enthusiasts will not need reminding that the Klais Organ at Bath Abbey is one of the pre-eminent instruments of Great Britain. Bath hosts an international festival as well as the Bath Mozartfest with the organ regularly featuring in both as well as on BBC Radio 3. Playing it on this recital is Peter King, Organist Emeritus of Bath Abbey, having been the Abbey's Director of Music for 30 years (1986-2016). On the DVD he is an agreeably genial host, presenting a very brief history of Bath Abbey, a fascinating 15-minute guided tour around the instrument, and a useful nine-minute illustrated introduction to the music itself. The recital is a generous 70 minutes and is shot from a variety of angles. If you have never had the opportunity of watching a virtuoso organist at work this is a real eye-opener (as well as a pleasant listen throughout). His footwork on the pedals is almost like watching a tap-dancer. Interspersed with shots of the organist entertaining is a good selection of interior and exterior backgrounds. In Olivier Messiaen's "Les Anges" from 'La Nativitie du Seigneur' we play spot the angel in and around the Abbey; in Louis Vierne's "Naiades" we have a tour of the famous Roman baths; and in Bach's "In Dulci Jubilo" from his 'Chorale Preludes from Orgellbuchlein' we walk around Bath's Christmas Market. If you find the visuals distracting or if you want to listen away from your DVD player there is an audio CD supplied as well. From "Fantaisie et Fugue in B Flat" by Alexandre-Pierre-Francois Boely to "The 94th Psalm, Sonata in C Minor" by Julius Reubke the music is a joy. Lovers of traditional church organ music will get a great deal (in both senses of the word) from this release and the more general listener should enjoy both the glorious music played supremely well and the visual tour around one of the loveliest church buildings in the kingdom.

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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