Stephen Cleobury

Liszt, Reubke, Mendelssohn: Organ Works

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Stephen Cleobury is best known for conducting the acclaimed King's College Choir, of which he has been director since 1982. But he is also the organist for King's College, Cambridge, and he has periodically released albums of organ music that showcase the chapel's centuries-old instrument. His program for this 2015 hybrid SACD on the King's College label features three works by Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, and Julius Reubke, which are essential repertoire for organists. Liszt's Fantasy and Fugue on "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam" and Reubke's Sonata on the 94th Psalm in C minor balance each other in their similar durations and comparable moods, which summon up the organ's dark, Gothic sonorities, while Mendelssohn's Sonata in D minor is more classically restrained and lighter in texture, despite having a corresponding seriousness of tone. Cleobury's technical virtuosity and his close working knowledge of this organ are apparent in his fluid playing and idiomatic registration, and even though these pieces may be a bit ponderous for newcomers to organ music, his lucid interpretations make them fully intelligible and well worth hearing.

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