Jennifer Bate

Samuel Wesley: Organ Music

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Noted for his skill at improvising fugues and for introducing many of the keyboard works of J.S. Bach to England, Samuel Wesley was one of his country's most gifted composers and organists, though he was later eclipsed by his son, the famous anthem composer Samuel Sebastian Wesley, and his music became obscure by the middle of the nineteenth century. Though interest in Wesley's works rose in the 1970s and has continued ever since, there are still too few recordings on CD; there is every reason, then, to appreciate Jennifer Bate's valuable contribution to the composer's small discography. Wesley's sets of variations on such familiar themes as God Save the King and Rule, Britannia are accessible and good pieces to start with, since they demonstrate his lively imagination in the playful treatment of the melodies. The suite-like Voluntaries are richer in counterpoint and more substantial in their formal designs, and hearing them prepares the listener for the weighty Prelude, Arietta, and Fugue in C minor, the most Bach-like work of the program. Bate plays these pieces on the organ of St. James' Church, Bermondsey, which dates from Wesley's time, and has a modest but sufficiently varied registration that works well with these late Classical pieces. The reproduction by Somm is clear and spacious, with wonderful resonance and little noise except from the instrument's mechanisms.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
8 variations for organ in B flat on "God Save the King"
1
01:20 Amazon
2
01:03 Amazon
3
01:09 Amazon
4
00:53 Amazon
5
01:11 Amazon
6
00:58 Amazon
7
00:59 Amazon
8
01:11 Amazon
9
02:18 Amazon
Vountary for organ in D major, Op. 6/8
10
02:20 Amazon
11
03:55 Amazon
12
03:19 Amazon
A short & familiar voluntary, for organ
13
01:47 Amazon
14
03:38 Amazon
Preludium, arietta & fuga, for organ in C minor
15
01:33 Amazon
16
04:11 Amazon
17
06:14 Amazon
Preludium & fuga, for organ in G
18
01:06 Amazon
19
06:44 Amazon
Arrangement with variation for organ of "Rule Britannia"
20
01:07 Amazon
21
01:14 Amazon
Voluntary in G minor, Op. 6/9
22
01:01 Amazon
23
04:22 Amazon
Voluntary in B flat major for Thomas Attwood
24
03:25 Amazon
25
02:44 Amazon
26
03:27 Amazon
Voluntary, for organ in G ("Dedicated to Gauntlett")
27
01:58 Amazon
28
03:20 Amazon
29
01:49 Amazon
3 variations for organ in D on "God Save the King"
30
01:10 Amazon
31
00:58 Amazon
32
01:10 Amazon
33
01:38 Amazon
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