John Ellis – Music for Organ, Vol. 2

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Catalogue No: DDA 25087
EAN/UPC: 809730508721
Artists:
Composers:
Release Date: April 2010
Genres: ,
Periods:
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 67:04
Sample: Scherzo Fantasie (extract)

Volume 1 of the John Ellis Organ music was recorded by Ronald Frost and received much acclaim. This CD featuring the extremely talented young organist Robin Walker continues the theme of music which is very firmly in the English Cathedral tradition, but which, as several critics have commented, also displays a very remarkable and distinctive voice – and is as suitable for recital performance as much as within the confines of liturgical use. The brilliant Symphony is perhaps the prime example of this genre to be written in recent years. A recording we are delighted to have in our catalogue. See volume 1 here.

WE ARE SORRY TO NOTE THAT JOHN ELLIS DIED ON APRIL 26, 2010. A GREAT LOSS TO MUSIC.

Track Listing

    John Ellis:

  1. Variations on Picardy (7:41)
  2. Scherzo-Fantasie (3:01)
  3. Festive Voluntary (4:41)
  4. Hymn Tune Prelude: Passion Chorale (3:41)
  5. Hymn Tune Prelude: Veni Creator (2:39)
  6. Toccata (4:24)
  7. Minuet (2:32)
  8. I. Three Pieces for Organ − I. Interlude (4:11)
  9. II. Three Pieces for Organ − II. Recessional (3:37)
  10. III. Three Pieces for Organ − III. Meditation (5:10)
  11. I. Organ Symphony − I. Fantasia (8:26)
  12. II. Organ Symphony − II. Scherzo (2:42)
  13. III. Organ Symphony − III. Adagio (8:13)
  14. IV. Organ Symphony − IV. Passacaglia (6:06)

Reviews

MusicWeb

Without a doubt [the organ Symphony] is John Ellis’s masterwork and the more I have heard it the more it surprises and amazes me. Any organist interesting in something new and challenging should track it down. Robin Walker is a marvellous advocate… he handles the instrument superbly. The accompanying booklet is a model of its kind. It possesses succinct but useful comments on the music as well as biographies of both the composer and performer.

” —Gary Higginson
Choir & Organ

The music has a distinctive, pleasantly astringent, quality… the organ sounded well… and Robin Walker is a convincing advocate, both of the organ and the music.

” —Relf Clark
MusicWeb

Although broadly tonal the music shows considerable variety harmonically, ranging from the modally expressive to the quartal piquancy of Hindemith. Modulations happen by sleight of hand; the pivot chords provoke marvel, whilst melodies are plastic, limpid and show the influence of plainsong. Ellis’ Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus, an absolute gem of a work… inspires an array of delightful textures and ingenious working out, culminating in a maestoso closing chorale. In a sense this work encapsulates what I love about Ellis’ music: its fluidity, its ease of skill, its quiet surprises, its occasional grandiose outbursts. [Ronald Frost’s] playing is first rate, the recording is excellent… lovers of organ music should not hesitate to buy [the disc], they will not be disappointed.

” —David Hackbridge Johnson