Baroque Organ Music
Peter Hurford offers us a delightful opportunity to discover the versatility of an organ (1976) by K. B. Blank in the Bethlehemker, Papendrecht. His recital contains a series of short sacred and secular works by baroque composers other than Handel and Bach, to which he brings warmth and charm as well as considerate skill.
He begins on the pedals which dramatically open Bohm's C major Prelude and Fugue and closes with Stanley's C major Voluntary. Throughout this generous recital Hurford's registration is as imaginative as it is illuminating to the music and its structure. Louis Couperin's G minor Fantaisie is appropriately reedy, featuring the instrument's basse de trompette effect. The woodland sounds of Kerll's amusing and ingenious Capriccio sopra il cucu, with its polytonal cuckoos, are beautifully caught. The Pescetti Sonata in C minor which sounds as if it might well have been purloined from his harpsichord canon, also shows off composer, player and instrument to advantage. The Pachelbel, Sweelinck and Walond selections are good to have along the way; and the Buxtehude chorale settings are particularly expressively played. There is an excellent note by Peter Williams; the recording bears out his point about the flexibility of modern instruments. The sound of the instrument is caught with exceptional clarity.'