William Faulkes (1863–1933): An Edwardian concert with England’s organ composer

Having incited critical fervour with his choir’s wide-ranging recordings of music from John Sheppard to Gabriel Jackson, Duncan Ferguson – when exploring repertoire for a solo recording on Edinburgh’s ‘Father’ Willis – has revealed gems from a period in the instrument’s history that is seeing something of a resurgence. William Faulkes, comfortably England’s most prolific organ composer of all time, was one of the leading figures in a generation of organist-composers whose style of writing went out of fashion; music that is melodious, spirited, uplifting – a manifest example of the then national confidence. The St Mary’s organ has the ideal colour palette for Faulkes, and Ferguson is a compelling advocate, revelling in music that speaks from and of the golden age of organ concert-going.

"Ferguson’s playing and Delphian’s presentation provide Faulkes’s music with as fine a podium as anyone could wish for"

"It's music that distils the spirit of the Edwardian era, when the large quasi-orchestral concert organ was, from town hall to cinema, the must-have jukebox of its day...Ferguson knows the instrument intimately and gives its tonal palette a thorough workout - even managing a moment of pure 'Wurlitzer' in the arrangement of Rubinstein's Leody in F."


"Faulkes's idiom is diatonically stolid and workmanlike, if rather self-effacing in quieter moments...As an example of the transcriber's art, Faulkes's treatment of Rubinstein's Melodie in F is handled with great delicacy, with some alluring use of the tremulants."


"Ferguson’s playing makes the most of the rich colours of the St Mary’s organ."

"Duncan Ferguson's renditions are as enthralling as they are warmly expressive, and his virtuosic talent oozes all the brilliance from the St Mary's Organ at the Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. A compelling disc, full of music that is both glorious and invigorating, albeit seldom heard."


"The music is utterly engaging, and Duncan Ferguson has brought it splendidly to life."


Producer: Paul Baxter

Release Date: 9 February 2015

Catalogue No: DCD34148

Total playing time: 1:15:26

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