Elgar Organ Sonatas / Edward Elgar, June Nixon
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Recorded in 1984, this album marks the 50th anniversary of Edward Elgar's death. Organist at St Paul's Cathedral from 1973 until 2013, June Nixon shows her mastery and love of these Elgar works.
The first sonata (1895) is of symphonic proportions and was later orchestrated by Gordon Jacob. The second was part of Elgar's "Severn Suite" which was first composed for brass band, and later transcribed for orchestra. Ivor Atkins transcribed part of it for organ adding a cadenza which met with Elgar's approval.
Melbourne's St Paul's Cathedral organ is amply endowed with expressive and colourful registrational possibilities. June Nixon, organist at St Paul's from 1973 to 2013 performs with great fluency and attention to detail. Her kaleidoscopic changes in registration have been well thought out and involve virtually the whole range of stops in the Lewis organ.
The first sonata conveys all that is best in the English romantic tradition, with its four contrasting movements. Elgar's symphonic style is expressed in the richness of its harmonic structures, its delicate and daring orchestral tone colours, and captivating melodies.
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