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Sounds Contemporary

Sounds Contemporary cover picture

Organ music by Alan Ridout, Humphrey Clucas and Bernard Rose

Suite Bretonne (Le Tombeau de Jean-Claude Jegat) Alan Ridout
i) Fortissimo
ii) Espressivo
iii) Piano (quasi una tambour)
iv) Fortissimo

Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta Alan Ridout

Passacaglia Alan Ridout

Two Pictures of Graham Sutherland Alan Ridout
i) Path in the Wood
ii) Thorn Head

Scots Suite Alan Ridout
i) Lament
ii) Battle Cry
iii) Boat Song
iv) Reel

The Night Watch Alan Ridout

Passacaglia Humphrey Clucas

Improvisation - "Ein' feste Burg" Bernard Rose

Chimes Bernard Rose

Passacaglia Bernard Rose

Total playing time 71m 12s

Sounds Contemporary

The organ of All Saints Church, Margaret Street, London played by Robert Crowley

The Organ of All Saints Church, Margaret Street

The organ was built in 1910 by Harrison and Harrison of Durham. It has four manuals and sixty five speaking stops. With the exception of major, though not comprehensive work in 1957 and some additional partial work in 1986, the organ stands today essentially as it was built. The instrument is a particularly fine example of Harrison's work in the years before the First World War. An Organ Restoration Appeal has recently been launched, with the aim of raising £346,625 in order to carry out essential work.

The work needing to be done includes:
Replacement of the leatherwork on the reservoirs. Eleven of the large reservoirs (double-rise bellows) still have their original 1910 leather.
* The electro-mechanical relays need to be replaced by a solid state transmission. These relays are now functioning badly.
* Replacement of the leather of the electro-pneumatic actions much of which has perished causing the stop and key actions to malfunction.
* Replacement of the altered underactions by mechanisms of the original design.
* Repair of pipework that has started to collapse.

There are a variety of ways in which to contribute to the Organ Restoration Appeal. For further details please contact : The Administrator, All Saints Organ Restoration Appeal, 7, Margaret Street, London W1N 8JQ

Robert Crowley

Robert Crowley received his early musical training with Martin Neary as a chorister at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster. He studied with Martindale Sidwell at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was awarded the Recital Diploma for Organ, also winning the Henry Richards and Frederick Keene Organ Prizes. He is particularly interested in contemporary music, and has commissioned pieces from a number of composers, including Alan Bush, Arnold Cooke and Humphrey Searle, as well as those featured here.

Robert Crowley is currently Head of Choral Music at St. Columba's College, St Albans, and also conductor of the University of Luton Choir and Orchestra. He is married with four children and he enjoys reading novels and books on theology, as well as supporting Watford and Hitchin Town Football Clubs. This is his first solo CD.

Alan Ridout

In his prolific career, Alan Ridout (1934-1996) composed a total of fifteen operas (including several for children), eight symphonies, twenty five concertos for various instruments, eight string quartets and numerous shorter orchestral, choral and instrumental pieces. He studied with Gordon Jacob and Herbert Howells at the Royal College of Music, and subsequently with Peter Racine Fricker, Michael Tippett and Henk Badings (with a Netherlands Government Scholarship). Although he was not an avant garde composer, his interests were wide, ranging from medieval polyphony to electronic music and serialism; his Psalm for Sine Wave Generators (1959) was one of the first pieces of electronic music by an English composer. He also wrote a number of pieces in the 31-tone temperament, using microtones. Alan Ridout was a Professor of Theory and Composition at the Royal College of Music from 1960 to 1984, and he also taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge and London. Much of his church and organ music was written for performance at Canterbury Cathedral while Allan Wicks was Organist there, and he also taught at the Choir School, and then at the King's School, for many years. Alan Ridout moved to France towards the end of his life, settling in Vitré and then moving to Caen. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church at Ampleforth Abbey in 1994, being made an oblate of the Order of St. Benedict soon afterwards.

This CD appears to be the first solo recording of the organ at All Saints, Margaret Street. Most of the music recorded here still awaits publication, and most of it has not been recorded before.

Recorded in All Saints Church, Margaret Street, London, by kind permission of the Vicar, Fr Alan Moses, the Churchwardens and Dr Harry Bramma, Organist and Director of Music.

Recording sponsored by Robert Scott.