In London Town: British Organ Music on the Dobson Organ of Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue

An album showcasing British repertoire written and arranged for the organ, including world premiere recordings of Andrew Carter’s Lacrimae, a tribute written to honour John Scott (to whom the album is dedicated), and an arrangement by Sheen and his father of Elgar’s colourful Cockaigne Overture.

As well as being transported across time and space with tracks nodding to the recent Platinum Jubilee celebrations and the world of 1950s film music, the programme offers an early opportunity to hear the magnificence of the newly-installed 10,000 pipe Dobson Organ of Saint Thomas, Fifth Avenue, New York, expertly handled by Sheen.

1. William Walton, March for ‘A History of the English-Speaking Peoples’ (Arr. for organ by Tom Winpenny)
2. John Ireland, A Downland Suite: II. Elegy. Lento espressivo (Arr. for organ by Alec Rowley)
3. Edward Elgar, Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40 ‘In London Town’ (Arr. for organ by Graham Sheen)*
4. Judith Bingham, St. Bride, assisted by angels
5. Percy Whitlock, Fantasie Choral No. 1 in D-Flat Major
6. Simon Preston, Alleluyas
7. Thomas Tallis, Hymn: Veni Redemptor Gentium I
8. Herbert Howells, Six Pieces for Organ: III. Master Tallis’ Testament
9. Percy Whitlock, Organ Sonata in C Minor: Scherzetto
10. Andrew Carter, Lacrimae*
11. Edward Elgar, Imperial March (Arr. for organ by George Martin)

*world premiere recordings

Reviews‘the centrepiece of his programme [Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture] is played here with musicianly flair’. ‘All are played very well by Sheen’. [On Preston’s Alleluya] ‘a clever riff on Messiaen and good to hear revived – alleluia to that!’ – BBC Music Magazine

Howells’s Master Tallis’s Testament receives a splendid rendition’. Recommended listening – Ian Munro, Church Music Quarterly

Cockaigne Overture: '...a magnificent massive arrangement… scintillating transcription… functions perfectly, and should be deemed a major recital piece...' Whitlock’s Scherzetto: 'a brilliant performance' 'The repertoire is impressive, Benjamin Sheen’s playing is outstanding, and the recording captures the colours of the organ. This is a fantastic exploration of some popular pieces in arrangement and some less well-known original works.' – John France, MusicWeb International

“An unexpected and completely successful recording of British Music… all of it quite brilliantly played by the young British organist Benjamin Sheen and very well recorded on this fine instrument’. “… sequenced with notable taste and refinement, and including a number of valuable world premiere recordings. The entire concept is admirable and have been remarkably successfully accomplished”. ***** – John Palmer, The Organ
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