I Allegro Ma‘stoso
Fantaisie in A major César Franck
Prélude sur l'Introit de l'Epiphanie Maurice Duruflé
Suite a la Francaise sur les themes populaires Pierre Cochereau transcribed David Briggs
Gigue 'Compagnons de la Marjolaine'
Menuet 'V'la l' bon vent'
Toccata 'Marche des Rois'
Total playing time 64m 03s
French Masterworks for Organ
The music on this disc represents an 'apostolic' succession of teacher/pupil composers, active in Paris and spanning over a century. Each composer was a virtuoso organist, devoted to their work as liturgical improvisers: providing spontaneously crafted compositions for the ceremonies of the church. The works presented are 'symphonic' both in terms of form (the Vierne and Franck) and also in the orchestral way in which the the organ is used (Duruflé, Dupré and Cochereau - although each of these three handled more massive formal structures with consummate ease). The organ upon which they are played is unique in English cathedrals for its unashamedly French reed stops (which include 'brass' instruments in organ nomenclature), lush yet transparent foundation stops (the 'strings' of the orchestra) and its bright yet blending mixtures (which reinforce the harmonics of individual notes). The music is interpreted by Ian Ball, who grew up with the sound of Debussy, Franck and Ravel (his father being an unashamed Francophile), and who now studies every six weeks in Paris with Naji Hakim, Organiste Titulaire at the Eglise de la Sainte-Trinité, and a former pupil of Jean Langlais and Rolande Falcinelli.
Ian Ball has been Assistant Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral since September 1998. He accompanies and assists in directing the seven sung services every week, and directs the new Cathedral Youth Choir, which he founded in 1999. Ian also leads a busy schedule as a recitalist and conductor. As a solo performer he has travelled widely in Europe and the United States, where he returns in the Autumn of 2001 for a second recital tour. Ian features on nine commercial recordings, three of them as accompanist and soloist with Gloucester Cathedral Choir, and the most recent as Director of the Saint Cecilia Singers.
Born in 1967, Ian Ball was educated at Bolton School, Oxford University and the Royal Northern College of Music. He was Organ Scholar at St Peter's College, Oxford and Manchester Cathedral, and studied with David Sanger, Peter Hurford and Gordon Stewart. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and holds the RNCM's Diploma in Advanced Performance, having won prizes in church music and interpretation. He has been a pupil of Maitre Naji Hakim for two years, studying repertoire, improvisation and composition in Paris.
From 1991-1994 he was Assistant Organist at Bristol Cathedral, moving to be Organist at Clifton Cathedral from 1994 until his move to Gloucester. He has also worked as a schoolmaster at Chetham's School of Music, Bristol Cathedral School and Redland High School for Girls, where for five years he ran a busy choral programme, culminating in a Chamber Choir tour to Thailand in 1996.
He enjoys cooking and composing, and spending as much time as possible with his two children, Jamie and Rebecca.
Produced by David Briggs
Recorded and edited by Lance Andrews
Photographs by Tony Hickey