Gillian Weir On Stage at Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Recorded on the beautiful Klais Organ at Symphony Hall(external link) in Birmingham, this spectacular two-disc recording is packed with toccatas of every style!
The 21st century work “Six variationen über una tema di Vincent Youmans” by William McVicker is an intriguing piece which contains hidden musical quotes. We've added a fun contest on this website for you to challenge yourself with. Give it a try!
“With no fewer than 11 of the beasts in this programme you'd be forgiven for feeling toccata'd out by the end of this exhilarating double disc set. But Gillian Weir knows her repertoire and Birmingham's stupendous Klais organ inside out. There's Bach in D minor, and Buxtehude in F, but that's the 'Dorian' in the case of the former, and for the latter, the less well-known Bux WV156. Courting the less familiar is de rigeur. She proposes nothing less than a 400-year survey stretching from 17th-century Italy (Rossi at his most harmonically off-the-wall) to 20th-century Russia, via a Vienna which flexes its fingers to the very different dance beats of Heiller's circus-bear-inspired Tanz-Toccata, and his pupil Peter Planyavsky's Toccata alla rumba. There's also a pealing delight by that Scottish-French Germanophile Georg Muffat. And not without some toccata panache is the one exception - William McVicker's ingenious set of variations on 'Tea for two', an enigmatic tribute to friends pictured within. Here, as everywhere, Weir is on top form, teasing thrilling sounds from the Klais; and she is as effortlessly commanding in the quicksilver caprice and pugnacious élan of the Buxtehude as in the Reger Op. 59 which follows - its Toccata firmly hitched to Buxtehude's star, and the gradually accelerating Fugue utterly inevitable where others often sound uncomfortable or unconvincing. Masterly!” Paul Riley, BBC Music Magazine, February 2007
Priory Records(external link) PRCD 867
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