Kerry Beaumont’s stunning new DVD has had a fantastic 5 star review by Michael Quinn in the latest edition of ‘Choir & Organ’ magazine (reproduced by kind permission):
Proof that 13 may not be an unlucky number after all comes in the form of this three-disc, tri-format offering from Priory. Generously including Blu-ray, DVD and CD, the 13th volume of its Grand Organ series turns the focus on Coventry Cathedral’s IV/88 Harrison & Harrison in fine style.
Designed for the cathedral’s consecration in 1962, the organ is a remarkable, robust and well equipped instrument clearly influenced by baroque voicing. It is characterised by a host of distinctive stops and effects, not least a diapason chorus on all its five divisions capable of producing an ‘echo effect that is rather disconcerting if you’re sitting in the middle of it,’ confesses the organist and music director since 2006, Kerry Beaumont, in a bonus feature.
With a richly variegated range gloriously illustrated in the baker’s dozen musical items of the recital, Beaumont’s hugely informative demonstration of the organ’s polyglot abilities provides an excellent starting point. As bonus features go, even allowing for Priory’s previous high standards, his detailed and fascinating exploration of its pipes, stops and divisions ranks as one of the best.
Delightful, too, are all too brief encounters with the cathedral’s chamber organs – an expressive Peter Collins and a 1967 I/6 Torkildsen Brothers beautifully shown off with Scheidt’s gorgeous Variations on ‘Ach, du feiner Reiter’ and a sublime rendition of The Coventry Carol.
The main recital – of works themed on Coventry’s wartime devastation and recovery – boasts the darkly strident charisma of ‘Mars’ from The Planets, Messiaen’s loweringly bittersweet ‘Jésus accepte la souffrance’ (La nativité), resplendent accounts of Walton’s Orb and Sceptre and Walford Davies’s evocative RAF March, and an effervescently bubbling take on Pierre Cholley’s Rumba sur les grands jeux.
Priory’s sound (especially in 5.1, or try stereo on headphones) can’t be better and its well-chosen visuals shine brilliantly in Blu-ray. Excellent notes and detailed organ specifications add to the pleasure. Highly recommended.
Coventry Cathedral’s Director of Music Kerry Beaumont takes to the console for the 13th issue in Priory’s best selling ‘Grand Organ Series’ on both BluRay and DVD.
This time the Cathedral’s superb Harrison and Harrison Organ is under the spotlight in a recital with a theme of the damage to the city in World War 2 and the reconciliation thereafter. The music is a mixture to reflect this and is recorded in stereo and 5.1 surround sound. The bonus features are a full demonstration of the organ, a demonstration of the two Chamber organs in the Cathedral and split screen talk through of the Cholley Rumba and registrations. A production definitely not to be missed! Available from the Cathedral shop.
Click here to see some earlier reviews of this spectacular new product!