Elgar: Organ Works

"The warmth and elegance of the instrument are mirrored in the inspired and inspirational playing... This is a recording to treasure."


"The recording plays soothingly and beautifully into a small room without loss of grandeur: a musical and technical achievement alike."

"Compelling readings...The recording is detailed with every nuance, every pianissimo and swell, warmly captured"

"Nicholas displays his Elgarian credentials in a typically unfussy and well-balanced selection"

"The big warm-hearted sound of the newly installed Dobson Organ of Merton College, Oxford compliments Benjamin Nicholas' spectacular virtuosity to the hilt and his interpretations, particularly those of the two major works, touch facets of emotion that are slightly personal, and yet his thought-provoking insights expose the music's essential pulse with alarming dexterity and inherent energy. An unusual yet wholly recommended Elgar programme, in classy presentation and clear focused sound quality."


"It is the dynamic and emotional range that organist Benjamin Nicholas presents that is striking. With the right audio setup, results are astounding."

The first recording of Merton’s new Dobson organ – a mixed recital spanning repertoire from Bach and Stanley to Dupré and Messiaen – was designed to demonstrate the instrument’s considerable versatility. But behind the contemporary sophistication of its construction and design, this is essentially an English Romantic organ with a big, warm-hearted personality, securely grounded in the aesthetic traditions of the late nineteenth century, and this second recording highlights those qualities in music by the composer who pre-eminently shares them: Edward Elgar.

Benjamin Nicholas, Merton’s Reed Rubin Organist and Director of Music, here proves himself a fine Elgarian and an inventive programmer, coupling Elgar’s two original major works for the organ with three transcriptions – including a first outing on CD for the superb arrangement of the Prelude to The Kingdom made by Herbert Brewer, Elgar’s contemporary and the long-serving organist of Gloucester Cathedral.

Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): Chapel of Merton College, Oxford
Recording dates: 25-26 June 2015
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 17
Release date: 29 April 2016
Total playing time: 1:08:33
Album ID: DCD34162

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