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Simon Preston

20th Century Organ Music (2CD)

Three original Argo albums demonstrating the vitality and variety of 20th-century organ music, newly remastered and compiled together for the first time in a 2CD set, with new booklet notes on the music and a tribute to Simon Preston.

Issued here for the first time on international release are the three sonatas by Paul Hindemith which Preston recorded at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Islington. Written between 1937 and 1940, these have remained staples of the organ's modern repertoire - not surprisingly, given their mastery of Bachian counterpoint. The second CD is filled with a recital of English organ music recorded by Preston at the organ of Colston Hall, Bristol, in January 1967. This conspectus sets the spacious, German-influenced Sonata of Sir Edward Elgar alongside the sharper harmonic bite of works by Kenneth Leighton, Michael Tippett and Benjamin Britten: all three in their different ways, like Maxwell Davies, looking back to much older music for the catalyst of inspiration.

PAUL HINDEMITH Organ Sonata No. 1* Organ Sonata No. 2* Organ Sonata No. 3* Simon Preston, organ Organ of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Islington PETER MAXWELL DAVIES O Magnum Mysterium* Choir of Cirencester Grammar School Orchestra of Cirencester Grammar School Peter Maxwell Davies Simon Preston, organ Organ of the Royal Festival Hall, London EDWARD ELGAR: Sonata for Organ, Op. 28* KENNETH LEIGHTON: Paean* FRANK BRIDGE: Adagio* HERBERT HOWELLS: Rhapsody for Organ, Op. 17 No. 3* MICHAEL TIPPETT: Preludio al Vespro di Monteverdi* BENJAMIN BRITTEN: Prelude and Fugue on a theme of Vittoria Simon Preston, organ Organ of Colston Hall, Bristol *FIRST INTERNATIONAL DECCA CD RELEASE