Rachel Mahon - Canadian Organ Music on the Organ of Coventry Cathedral (24/48 FLAC)
Rachel Mahon – Canadian Organ Music on the Organ of Coventry Cathedral (24/48 FLAC)

Composer: Healey Willan, Ruth Watson Henderson, Rachel Laurin
Performer: Rachel Mahon
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Delphian
Size: 576 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Healey Willan: Introduction, Passacaglia & Fugue
01. I. Introduction
02. II. Passacaglia
03. III. Fugue

Petite Suite (Gerald Bales)
04. I. Introduction
05. II. Intermezzo
06. III. Finale

Ruth Watson Henderson: Chromatic Partita
07. Chorale
08. Var. 1
09. Var. 2
10. Var. 3
11. Var. 4
12. Var. 5
13. Var. 6
14. Var. 7
15. Var. 8

Rachel Laurin: Organ Symphony No. 1, Op. 36
16. I. Prelude
17. II. Scherzo
18. III. Aria
19. IV. Toccata

Even in Canada, Canadian organ music is hardly familiar stuff, but this release represents an ideal meeting point of music by Canadian composers, the Harrison and Harrison organ at Coventry Cathedral, and the talents of organist Rachel Mahon, who concurrently with this release was named the cathedral’s director of music. The backstory contributes to the fortunate set of factors: Canadian organists contributed financially to the organ’s installation, and Mahon’s journey from Canada to England reflected the one undertaken in reverse by composer Healey Willan, the composer who opens the proceedings. His Introduction, Passacaglia, and Fugue is an unusually persuasive work in a Romantic-Bachian mode. The rest of the music is in the French style to a greater or lesser degree. The highlight is perhaps the Chromatic Partita of Ruth Watson Henderson, a set of variations with shifting, delicate shadings (try the sixth variation). Mahon doesn’t retreat a bit in the blazing toccata finales of this work or in Rachel Laurin’s Organ Symphony No. 1, Op. 36. Delphian’s engineering is another standout feature of one of the major organ releases of 2020; listen on ordinary equipment and be impressed, and listen on fine equipment to be blown away.

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