Reviews

GMCD 7144 – Master Works IV – Virtuoso Organ Works

Jeremy Filsell – Organ

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From Organist’s Review – August 1998

Jeremy Filsell is a technically scintillating player on this release, a player whose dexterity, rhythmic vitality and driving energy through this rich and generous programme invite the highest admiration. Bovet’s ‘Salamanca’, Vierne’s ‘Carillons’ and the Baroque intricacies of Bach’s Chorale Partita on ‘Sei gegrüsset, Jesu Gütig’ are particularly vivid performances here. The disc also includes Filsell’s own brilliant transcription of a 1974 recording of Cochereau’s improvised ‘Scherzo Symphonique’. What flambent fire (sheet-and other lightnings) of all commendable kinds!’ said Carlyle, putting down a volume of Ruskin: the same might be said of this electrifying CD.

But not electrifying only also electronic; not only digital virtuosity but digital technology. Oddily hidden from the CD cover, it’s only Filsell’s notes which tell us this recording was made on the huge 3 manual Viscount Prestige 1,’ one of the most up-to-date and convincing of pipe organ imitator’, Filsell remarks. The tutti sound is spectacular, individual! Colour ranges enormous. But this instrument, to my ear, still produces a sound which seems lifeless when compared to a pipe instrument. It is as if one is in Huxley’s Brave New World, drinking champagne surrogate.
Francis O’Gorman