This album tracks an imaginary journey around European cities in 20th century organ music spanning some 50 years. From the operatic Adorazione by Oreste Ravanello to Markus Kühnis’ Variations on the Swiss Song ‘Stets i Truure, mues i läbe’ with Carl Nielsen’s Commotio as the central ‘stop’ of this recording, this release shows Keith John and the organ of Gloucester Cathedral at their very best.
Keith John studied with Jean Guillou, whose Toccata, Op.9 is also recorded here. He has previously recorded several discs for Priory Records and Hyperion Records, and this is his first release on the Willowhayne Records label.
Hendryk Andriessen: Thema met Variaties
Oreste Ravanello: Adorazione
Jean Guillou: Toccata, Op.9
Peter Hurford: Suite 'Laudate Dominum
II. Rondo da Chiesa
V. French Carol
VI. Exurgat Deus
Carl Nielsen: Commotio, Op.58
Markus Kühnis: Variations on the Swiss song 'Stets i Truure mues i läbe
II. Variation 1: Sehr ruhig
III. Variation 2
IV. Variation 3
V. Variation 4
VI. Variation 5: Sehr ruhig
VII. Variation 6
VIII. Variation 7: Final - Toccata
Recorded in Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, UK on 13th-14th & 16th-17th August 2012
Front Cover Photograph: Grace Willmot
Photography (Keith John): Carol John & Flash Bang Studios, Worthing
Recording Engineers: Mark Hartt-Palmer & John Balsdon
Recording Production: John Balsdon & Mark Hartt-Palmer
Total Time: 70.47
Release Date: May 2013
Keith studied at the Royal College of Music with Ralph Downes, Bernard Roberts and Ruth Gipps. It was at this time that Keith became inspired by the music and playing of Jean Guillou, who invited him to the Alpine village of L'Alpe d'Huez for one of the famous Guillou masterclasses. This led to Keith's life-long relationship with Guillou's music, and had a profound influence on his style of playing and approach to the organ. Keith soon discovered that one could play anything on the 'big little organ' of L'Alpe d'Huez in exactly the same way that, in the hands of the artist, the same is true of the masterpiece that is the organ of Gloucester Cathedral.
Keith John is renowned for his phenomenal technique and his imaginative use of the full range of colours from every instrument featured in his recordings and recitals. His transcriptions are regularly performed and have all been recorded, winning critical acclaim. His composition Rhythmic Energy has become a tour de force in many organists' recital repertoire.
Keith's recordings have won Editor's Choice in both Organists' Review and Cathedral Music, and have been well received in publications such as Gramophone, the London Sunday Times and the BBC Music Magazine.
WHR032 View Booklet (PDF)