Richard Pantcheff: Music for Organ and other Instruments (PFCD205) £12.50/£17.50
Neil Fulton flugelhorn, Benedict Holland violin, Simon Passmore organ
1. Nocturnus I (Flugelhorn and Organ) [08:21]
2. Chorale Preludes – No.1: ‘Jesu sei nun gepreiset’ (Organ solo) [04:34]
3. Chorale Preludes – No.2: ‘Jesu, meine Freude’ (Organ solo) [04:48]
4. Chorale Preludes - No.3: ‘Befiel du deine Wege’ (Organ solo) * [04:11]
5. Chorale Preludes - No.4: ‘Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken’ (Organ solo) * [04:07]
6. Chorale Preludes – No.5: ‘O Mensch, bewein dein Suende gross’ (Organ solo) * [04:15]
7. Chorale Preludes – No. 6: ‘Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit’ (Organ solo) * [06:24]
8. Sonata for Violin and Organ: I – Canzona (Violin and Organ) [07:35]
9. Sonata for Violin and Organ: II – Romanza (Violin and Organ) [07:17]
10. Sonata for Violin and Organ: III – Tarantella (Violin and Organ) [07:11]
11. ‘Agnus Dei’ (Violin and Organ)* [03:25]
12. Nocturnus VI (Organ solo) [07:20]
13. Fantasia on ‘Haec Dies’ (Organ Solo) [05:1]
* World premiere recording
Following on from the successful release of Passacaglia on a Theme of Benjamin Britten and Other Organ Works (PFCD174-5), organist Simon Passmore returns to the organ of St. Ann’s Church, Manchester, for this second volume of organ music by British composer Richard Pantcheff.
This new disc comprises works for organ solo, as well as works written for organ with other instruments: Violin (Benedict Holland), and Flugelhorn (Neil Fulton). The programme contains highly melodic modal works, including the Sonata for Violin and Organ (Opus 74) and its forerunner ‘Agnus Dei’ (Opus 41). The more contemporary Nocturnus I (Opus 90, No.1) for Flugelhorn and Organ is complemented here by the solo organ work which completes the Nocturnus series of compositions, Nocturnus VI (Opus 90, No.6). Both works were completed while the composer was living in South Africa.
Lastly, the six Chorale Preludes (2021/No.2) for solo organ are here recorded in full for the first time. Written during the depths of the pandemic, these sparse, elevated, works are like icons in music: where time seems to stand still, and the listener is immersed in the intense spiritual dialogue presented in the music.
Simon Passmore is originally from Hexham, Northumberland. He was a chorister at Hexham Abbey where he received piano lessons from the Directors of Music, John Green and Michael Haynes, and later with Newcastle University's Head of Keyboard, David Murray. He completed a BMus at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, studying with Murray McLachlan, and went on to take a Postgraduate Diploma in Repetiteur Studies, supported by a full scholarship. Simon was Director of Music at St Ann's Church between 2015-2022, and had previously been organ scholar there from 2011, studying with the late Ronald Frost. Simon currently lives in Altrincham and works full-time at Chetham's School of Music as a staff pianist.
Recorded and produced by Steve Plews, July 17/18 2022, at St Ann's Church, Manchester
Edited and mastered by Phil Hardman
Publication Details: Tracks 1-7, 12-13 Composers Edition, Tracks 8-10 EM Publishing, Track 11 Kevin Mayhew Ltd.
You can read more about this recording on the Prima Facie blog Recitative
Richard Pantcheff (photo: Liz Isles) is internationally renowned as one of the finest contemporary British composers of Choral, Organ, Chamber and Instrumental music. He was trained in choral music and composition from an early age, starting as a chorister at Ripon Cathedral, and thereafter reading music at Christ Church, Oxford, under Simon Preston and Francis Grier. He was mentored in composition by Benjamin Britten in the last years of Britten’s life. Since then he has been commissioned to write new works for the leading performers in their field, including Stephen Layton, Grayston Ives, David Hill, Jane Parker-Smith, and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2012-2019 he was Director of Music at St. George’s Anglican Church, Johannesburg, South Africa, where he remains Composer in Residence. He is a Patron of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. He is currently guest conductor of the Choir of St. Michael at the Northgate, Oxford, and is occasional guest organist for Ripon College, Oxford. His substantial output of compositions has been commissioned, performed, recorded, and broadcast all over the world. His 2013 work for organ, Passacaglia on a Theme of Benjamin Britten, was premiered in Essen Cathedral by Jane Parker-Smith, as part of the Britten 100 Festival. All of his music has been published, and features in major international music festivals, including the Tanglewood Festival (USA); the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music (UK) and the English Music Festival. His works have been broadcast regularly on radio and TV around the world, including by the PBS (North America), Classic FM (UK and South Africa), BBC Radios 3 and 4 (UK), German radio, and TV in South Africa. His compositions are noted by critics and audiences alike for their originality and technical brilliance, combined with intellectual and emotional depth.