John Ellis: Music for Organ Volume 1


Catalogue No: DDV 24141
EAN/UPC: 809730414121
Release Date: May 2009
Genres: ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 62:19
Sample: Veni Creator Spiritus - Variation I (Alla gigue)

John Ellis, a composer from Manchester in England, has produced a corpus of organ music that is both thoroughly in the tradition of British cathedral and liturgical music while developing an individual voice. Here Ronald Frost, organist of St. Ann’s Church, Manchester, plays that fine instrument. A second volume of Ellis works, played by Robin Walker, is also now available on Divine Art.

* we are sorry to note that John Ellis died on April 26, 2010. A great loss to music.

Track Listing

    John Ellis:

  1. I. Allegro and Passacaglia – Allegro (4:53)
  2. II. Allegro and Passacaglia – Passacaglia (6:06)
  3. Pastorale in B (4:23)
  4. I. Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus – Theme (0:32)
  5. II. Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus – Variation I: Alla gigue (1:02)
  6. III. Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus – Variation II:Andante (0:53)
  7. IV. Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus – Variation III: Giocoso (1:02)
  8. V. Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus – Variation IV:Allegretto (1:18)
  9. VI. Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus – Variation V:Allegro maestoso (1:44)
  10. I. Three Hymn Tune Voluntaries – Musette on ‘Seelenbrautigam’ (1:23)
  11. II. Three Hymn Tune Voluntaries – Meditation on ‘Abends’ (3:31)
  12. III. Three Hymn Tune Voluntaries – Finale on ‘Kings Lynn’ (2:40)
  13. I. Suite in A (Divertissement) – Intrada (2:29)
  14. II. Suite in A (Divertissement) – Cantilena (2:43)
  15. III. Suite in A (Divertissement) – Scherzetto (2:56)
  16. Concert Waltz (7:31)
  17. I. Three Short Voluntaries – No. 1 – Chorale (1:50)
  18. II. Three Short Voluntaries – No. 2 – Air (2:11)
  19. III. Three Short Voluntaries – No. 3 – Exeunt (1:48)
  20. Meditation on ‘Rockingham’ (3:10)
  21. Coventry Carol Meditation (4:19)
  22. Finale-Fantasia on ‘Orientis Partibus’ (3:40)


MusicWeb International

The disc opens with a very fine ‘Allegro and Passacaglia’. This truly is organists’ music.. Ronald Frost [is] superb and committed throughout. I have much enjoyed exploring John Ellis’s organ music… it has charm, it is practical and is suitable for recital work. The music is beautifully performed, recorded and annotated. Even for non-organists it would be well worth searching out.

” —Gary Higginson

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

Works of approachable character and suitable difficulty for church use… music is tonal and falls firmly into a conservative… idiom… all well made and inoffensive. The noted English organist Ronald Frost performs well. Recorded sound is fine.

” —Carson Cooman