This is the worst CD I own
davidsinden | Houston, TX USA | 03/20/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I love English organ music, but not when it is recorded this badly. The performance here is terrible. Hunt adds beats to measures (specifically the opening bars of Vaughan Williams' Hyfrydol prelude) and his playing is generally very sloppy. The instrument is not impressive either. Sounds as thought it may be electronic. This would explain why it is called the Royal Bradford Computing Organ. The recording sounds muffled and distant. I wish Naxos would reissue the repertoire on this disc with a different performer playing a real organ."
A sorry recording of an electronic "toaster"
jasecrist | Rome, Italy | 08/31/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If there are any redeeming graces to this particular CD, I have a hard time finding them. Less-than-stellar playing and distant sound quality come together in this mediocre recording. A great number of other CD's come to my mind if one is looking for a general recording of English organ literature-and all of them are played on real pipe organs, not the sorry substitute recorded here."
Good playing that goes for lines more than heavy colour
Mackinnon | Sweden | 05/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think this is a very successful performance, which brings out new aspects of the pieces. The point that dismays other reviewers could be that Mr. Hunt doesn't go for virtuoso show-off playing; he uses pastel and soft tones instead of scarlet (that is, heavily rhythmic playing with extreme dynamic contrasts). Most of these pieces have a streak of the late romantic era, so it would be tempting to bring in heavy colouring and lots of pedal. Hunt goes for bringing out the lines of the music and the subtle shifts of kley, and the strategy pays off in Howells' Siciliano and Vaughan Williams preludes.
The Siciliano, to my mind, is the high point of the disc; the slow-moving lines of the music are evoked with precise feeling, and the music spirals to a climax which is so moving because it doesn't pull off a big crescendo. I don't find the tonal colours muted or "distant" here, but they should be heard in contrats with the mellow bass register of the organ.
The "Plymouth Suite" is fine too, with a strong tinge of old English hymn and dance traditions.
The instrument is definitely not some kind of B-3 organ. Most organs these days have part electronic action. So the name "Bradford Computing organ" could mean the company donated money for the organ.
A really good disc with music which is little known outside of Britain."