In light of his detailed study of works by Couperin, Clérambault, Raison and de Grigny, it is not surprising that he gave the work a French title; it is also known as the Fantasia in G. It owes much to the stylus fantasticus of which Dieterich Buxtehude was a famous exponent: improvisatory flourishes, giving way to stricter tightly-knit polyphony. After an interrupted cadence onto a diminished seventh chord, the piece ends with a rapid toccata consisting of broken chords in the manuals and a pedal ostinato, working in chromatic sequence towards the majestic final cadenza. This recording presents an early version of the opening section, less harmonically refined but possessing the same improvisatory character.
Recorded in the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, UK on 5th-7th August 2015
Booklet design: Nicola Martin & Willowhayne Records
Recording Engineers: Mark Hartt-Palmer & John Balsdon
Recording Production: John Balsdon & Mark Hartt-Palmer
Total Time: 73.28 (CD), 81.51 (Download
Release Date: December 2016
Mark Swinton was educated at the King's School, Chester, and at the University of York, graduating with BA in Music in 2002 and MA in Music two years later. He has studied with David Briggs, Roger Fisher, Dr Francis Jackson and John Scott Whiteley, amongst others, and has participated in masterclasses with Johannes Geffert and Dame Gillian Weir. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists since 2006, he has given numerous recitals at venues throughout the UK. He has also performed, as both a soloist and accompanist, in France, Germany, Holland and Spain. His first solo recording, Colours of the Klais (Cloister Records) marked the 10th anniversary in 2007 of the Klais organ in Bath Abbey; 2016 saw the release of A Bach Family Album (Willowhayne Records). He has an occasional duo partnership with violinist Lucy Phillips; they have given concerts together in Bath, Chester, Warwick and Worksop, and recorded a CD.
Since 2011, Mark has been Assistant Director at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick, having previously held positions at Kendal Parish Church, Bath Abbey and Royal High School, and Clifton College, Bristol. At Warwick, he accompanies the St Mary's Choirs of Boys, Girls and Men in four choral services every week whilst assisting with their training and direction. He has appeared with them in concert, including the premières of choral works by Naji Hakim and David Briggs, on tours throughout the UK and abroad, on radio and television broadcasts, and on two recent CD recordings to date: Christmas from Warwick and Gaudeamus omnes: celebrating Warwick 1100 (Regent Records). He also directs St Mary's Scholars, an adult chamber choir that sings occasional services in St Mary's whilst undertaking its own programme of concerts and tours.
Although primarily an organist, Mark has performed as a harpsichordist since student days in York, often appearing as a continuo player with the University Baroque Ensemble and even venturing into the world of contemporary music for the instrument via what is now known as the Chimera Ensemble. He has also accompanied the soprano Yvonne Seymour and provided continuo for the Yorkshire Youth Orchestra and EU Chamber Orchestra.
WHR037 View Booklet (PDF)