1. ?Henry Purcell 1659-1695 Voluntary on Old Hundredth
Church Music Quarterly - September 2009 ***
This unusual and exciting CD features music by Blow, Henry Purcell, his brother Daniel, John Reading, William Richardson, and Jeremiah Clarke. There are examples of organ voluntaries, hymns, metrical psalm settings, a solo anthem (Daniel Purcell's O let my Mouth be fill'd with Thy Praise) and Richardson's Funeral Anthem for the Use of Charity Children. The hymn and psalm settings incorporate organ interludes of the kind that were popular in the period. The vocal music is finely sung by a small ensemble and, on a couple of tracks, by the enthusiastic audience at a recital given in 2006. The lion's share of the music is by Blow - and wonderful it is, too. His organ pieces are full of strange chromatic turns, piquant dissonances and deft counterpoint. Timothy Robert's playing exhibits a warm affinity with the music, making for a very enjoyable listening experience. Christopher Maxim
Early Music Review - August 2009
This is primarily a disc of Blow, presenting his organ music on a recently restored (by Goetze & Gwynn) organ, information on which is available at their website (www.goetzegwynn.co.uk). An unusual feature is the inclusion of hymns, preludes, and interludes (by John Reading) surrounding the audience (as 'congregation') singing the Old Hundredth and Jeremiah Clarke's best-known hymn-tune. The organ playing is a delight, even if it seems to me at times to be slightly over-detached - but that might have sounded right in the church. The two sopranos are among my favourites, joined by the ever-reliable bass, who seems to have been around as long as I can remember. Other composers who appear briefly are Daniel Purcell (O let my mouth be filled with praise) and William Richardson (a Funeral Anthem for the Use of Charity Children). An excellent CD, of interest beyond the world of organ buffs (who will require it anyway).
The Organ - May 2009