Renowned organist Stephen Farr returns to the Resonus label with the first of three major albums surveying the complete organ works of the twentieth-century British composer Kenneth Leighton (1929-1988).
Recorded on the monumental Rieger organ of St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, the city where Leighton spent most of his working life as a composer, the centrepiece of this opening programme is Leighton’s most substantial work for the instrument, Missa de Gloria, Op. 82, written for the inaugural Dublin International Organ Festival in 1980. Also featured are the inventive Six Fantasies on Hymn Tunes, Op. 72 (written for former St Giles’ organist Herrick Bunney) and the Imporvisation in Memoriam Maurice de Sausmarez from 1969.
Farr is also joined by organist John Butt for the epic and challenging organ duet based on a Scottish Psalm-tune, Martyrs, Op. 73.
"...it is the sheer musical quality of Farr’s playing and his obvious sensitivity towards the rhythmic and textual detail of Leighton’s music which makes this a hugely impressive release. I eagerly await the next volume."
Marc Rocester - Gramophone magazine - Awards Issue 2014
"... This first volume (of three) surveying his [Leighton] organ works is a magnificent begining. On the III/57 Rieger organ (1992) of Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral, Stephen Farr is a committed advocate ... Recorded sound is exemplary..." *****
Michael Quinn - Choir & Organ magazine (September/October 2014)