The Organ of Rochdale Town Hall (Overture Transcriptions Vol II)

At its high point, the British town hall organ tradition represented something entirely new and extraordinary, in social, mechanical, aesthetic and commercial terms; and the transcriptions made for these colossal instruments demonstrate remarkable syntheses of ingenuity, skill and ambition on the part of both organ-builders and musical arrangers. Rochdale’s extravagantly Gothic town hall is one of the most impressive examples of Victorian and Edwardian civic pride, and Timothy Byram-Wigfield has chosen its fine J.J. Binns organ as the vehicle for his second disc of orchestral overture transcriptions, following his celebrated 2004 volume recorded on the organ of the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow.

"Byram-Wigfield takes all in his unflappable stride, the opening carefully layered, the control scrupulous throughout, though almost to a fault when the sheer lucidity refuses to surrender to the heat of the moment…deftly characterised, well recorded and with lively liner notes by Byram-Wigfield himself, this is altogether a tantalising testament to the transcriber's art."


"What makes this recital particularly appealing is the clarity of texture with which the Rochdale organ is captured…[the instrument] offers all the orchestral colours and dynamics you could wish for in this repertoire, no details of which are lost…apart from Byram-Wigfield's virtuosity and fluent registrations, there are the further bonuses of his own transcription of the Prelude to Act 1 of La traviata…and the rarity of Spohr's Overture to his 1823 opera Jessonda"

"An entire disc of overtures is a bit like enjoying a 7-course tasting menu, and here the results are well worth savouring... a tour de force."


"A wonderful disc, both for organ lovers and for anyone who enjoys good music in an originally different format."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Release date: 19 February 2016
Catalogue No: DCD34143
Total playing time: 1:07:27

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