Magazine article Musical Opinion

Iain Quinn Plays Czech Music on the Organ of Norwich Cathedral

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Iain Quinn Plays Czech Music on the Organ of Norwich Cathedral

Article excerpt

Iain Quinn plays Czech Music on the Organ of Norwich Cathedral

Dvorák: Fugue in G minor; Janácek: Postludium from the Glagolithic Mass; Martin :

Vigilia; Novák: St Wenceslas Triptych Opus 70; Ropek: Variations on Victimae Paschali

Laudes; Smetana: Six Preludes for organ

Chandos CHAN 10463, 1 hour 14 minutes

This recording was generously supported by the Simon Yates and Kevin Roon Foundation

Although the reputation of this fine young Welsh-born organist is international (he has lived in the USA for quite a few years, holding several important posts), his two Chandos CDs - of which this is the second - are remarkable for shedding new light on previously neglected aspects of the organ repertoire. Quinn 's disc of Russian organ music (Chandos CHAN 10043), was a quite remarkable achievement, and his Hyperion disc of Robert Simpson's Eppur si muove (CDA 67016) awakened many organists' ears to the existence of a masterwork for the instrument by a recent British composer.

Now comes this admirable collection of Czech organ music, and it is surprising for those who know little of the subject how closely connected much of this music is, despite the composers concerned coming from differing periods of Czech history of the last 170 years or so. What is equally fascinating is that each of these pieces is well worth the attention of music -lovers and organists everywhere - there is not a dud amongst them.

The large-scale (30-minutes) St Wenceslas Triptych of Nowák was completed in 1942 and was (surely correctly) perceived at the time by Czech nationalists as a thinlyveiled allegory against the then Nazi occupation. It is a marvellous work, as one might expect from this composer, so widelyadmired during his lifetime, and it is extremely well-played. Any self-respecting organist will be attracted to the titles of the three movements: Toccata, Chaconne and Fugue - and they will not be disappointed. …

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