All The Stops
David Drury on the Sydney Town Hall Organ
- ABC Classics
- 3CD set
When the mighty Sydney Town Hall Organ, one of the wonders of the musical world, emerged from 12 solid years of repairs and refurbishment in the mid 1980s, the organist chosen to capture its magnificence on disc for the first time was the Australian virtuoso David Drury.
This 3CD set begins with that extraordinary recording, made to celebrate the centenary of this unique and glorious instrument: built by William Hill in 1890, the biggest and best-preserved 19th-century Romantic organ in the world.
Drury's flawless technique is coupled with an extraordinary sensitivity to the vast range of tonal colours available on its 8,756 pipes, which range in size from barely 10cm - no bigger than a ball-point pen - to a record-breaking 64 foot (19½ metre) Contra-Trombone stop. There is music of whisper-light delicacy and music of earth-shaking grandeur, and every possible shade and timbre in between.
A second disc, released in 1993 and included as CD2 of this collection, continues this magical pairing of master-organist and world-renowned instrument, while extensive liner notes trace the organ's fascinating history.
Disc 3 takes us to Melbourne, where Drury explores the power and the subtlety of another splendid instrument: the T.C. Lewis organ in St Paul's Cathedral. Across all three discs, Drury offers a dazzling range of repertoire, from monumental organ works by Reger and Liszt to orchestral classics by Bach, Elgar, Saint-Saëns and Wagner, brilliantly arranged for the 'king of instruments'.
This collection also features thrilling improvisations by Drury himself - the only Australian ever to win the prestigious Tournemire Prize for improvisation.
Bach, J S: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1068: Air ('Air on a G String')
Drury: Improvisation On A Theme Of Nigel Butterley
Drury: Improvisation On A Theme Of Peter Sculthorpe
Dupré: Cortège et Litanie, Op. 19 No. 2
Elgar: Nimrod (from Enigma Variations)
Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major, Op. 39 No. 1
Franck, C: Cantabile, M36
Gigout: Pièces (10) pour orgue, 1892: Toccata in B minor
Hollins: A Song of Sunshine
Hollins: A Trumpet Minuet
Jackson, F: Toccata, Chorale & Fugue Op. 16
Jongen: Quatre Pieces, Op. 37
Koehne: Gothic Toccata
Liszt: Fantasia and Fugue on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam', S259
Mendelssohn: Athalie: War March of the Priests
Moszkowski: Romance sans paroles (No. 3 from Pièces mignonnes (10), Op. 77)
Peeters: Aria for organ, Op. 51a
Reger: Chorale Fantasia on 'Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme', Op. 52 No. 2
Saint-Saëns: Danse macabre, Op. 40
Saint-Saëns: Prelude & Fugue Op. 109 No. 3 in C major
Stanford: Fantasia and Toccata in D minor, Op. 57
Vierne, L: Carillon de Westminster (from Pièces de fantaisie, 3rd suite, Op. 54)
Wagner: Begluckt darf nun dich 'Pilgrims' Chorus' (from Tannhauser)
Whitlock, P: Organ Sonata in C minor