2000 Nails: Contemporary Organ Works

Michael Bonaventure, virtuosic exponent of new music for the organ, has commissioned more than fifty works in his 25-year career to date. Here are eight of them – a luminous recital of premiere recordings, and a rare invitation into the phantasmagorical sound-world of the secular organ repertory. Recorded on the momentous Hope-Jones instrument in the McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh, this uncompromising disc features the music of seven of today’s foremost British composers: Judith Weir, Avril Anderson, Lyell Cresswell, Eddie McGuire, Ian McQueen, Peter Nelson and Bonaventure himself.

"Bonaventure commissioned all of these works and he is a thoroughly convincing advocate. His registrations combine colour with clarity, captured in atmospheric sound, from the joyful splashing of Judith Weir's Ettrick Banks to the intense low throbbing cluster that dominates the end of his own Animus VI."

"Bonaventure finds some extraordinary sounds and the result is undeniably effective. Congratulations to Delphian on an innovative, daring and challenging release."

"This fine player has commissioned more than 50 works in 25 years. Here are eight of them, recorded on the organ of Edinburgh University’s McEwan Hall and including Bonaventure’s own louring, tone-clustered Animus VI. The title piece, Ian McQueen’s 2000 Nails, is a 20-minute evocation (and millennial update) of Edith Sitwell’s second world war poem Still Falls the Rain, and at once meditative and turbulent. The hammering of crucifixion nails is patently audible, but part of a tight, plainsong-derived argument."

"This Edinburgh organist has liberated the king of instruments from its often-perceived church role by championing new music.  The works on this CD from the bold and enterprising Scottish label run by Paul Baxter of Inverness exploit the organ’s resources by using contemporary harmonies and rhythms."


"I was impressed throughout by the vitality of compositions and performances, not least for the way in which new textures and sounds were included, yet all within the corpus of organ music over the last 150 years.  This disc is well worth acquiring and the music repays repeated listening."


"Bonaventure's insight, technique, and commitment are riveting. The unique instrument, with its power and bountiful color (including Hope-Jones Diaphones) serves the music well in a grand space of six seconds reverberation. If you're weary of the "same old, same old," try this!"


"the CD opens the door of the possible as far as the organ is concerned It's not for the musically faint-hearted, but I thoroughly recommend it for everyone else."

Release date: 11 July 2005
Catalogue No: DCD34013
Total playing time: 1:19:02

Recorded on 9-10 September 2004 in the McEwan Hall,University of Edinburgh
Producer: Paul Baxter
Engineer: David Strudwick
24-bit digital editing: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter

Design: John Christ
Booklet editor: Kevin Findlan
Cover image: John Christ
Session photography: Paul Baxter
Organ photography and photograph Editing: Raymond Parks

Album Booklet

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