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Mstation Classical Reviews


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Mon, 01 May 2006

Weir, Gillian

On Stage at the Royal Festival Hall
Gillian Weir
CD, Priory

Here we have one the countries finest organists playing various works on the organ of the Royal Festival Hall. Her distinguished career should not go un-noticed! She was a student of the Royal College of Music, and whilst there, won several prestigious awards and prizes, and in 1965, was invited to play her debut recital at the Royal Festival Hall thus marking the beginning of her long relationship with the concert hall. Ever since, she has been the primary performer at both the Festival, and Queen Elizabeth halls, being soloist at such important events as the Halls 25th Jubilee, and the RFH Organ’s 50th birthday. Dame Gillian Weir is also a notable Messiaen performer, being involved deeply in the celebration concerts of his 70th and 80th birthdays. For more information visit www.gillianweir.com

This recording was made shortly before the organs removal from the hall due to major renovation. It is a unique insight into the sound of the vast instrument at a major point in its life. The album ‘On Stage’, contains many of Dame Gillian’s most frequently performed works, showing off both her skill at working an instrument, and showing off the organ in all its intricateness. With such a varied programme, one is not short of lush harmony, precise melodic lines, solemnity, and excitement.

This is well worth a look, if only to have a record of the last days of the RFH organ, before is arrives triumphant again in 2007. (E Walton)

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