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Continuing Priory’s welcome surveys of 19th- and 20th-century English organ music comes this second release by John Scott Whiteley of music by T.T. Noble, a pupil of Stanford and organist of York Minster until his 1913 emigration to the USA. Scott Whiteley’s informative and entertaining programme notes opine that Noble’s organ music follows a unique path from the instruments of late Victorian England to the late romanticism embodied by the organs of E.M. Skinner, of whom Noble was latterly a devotee. Perhaps the current project might have gained from being recorded on different organs reflecting the styles in question, rather than on the much-altered York instrument. Scott Whiteley, though, plays with conviction and is clearly very much at home in the repertoire. This second volume includes Noble’s sonata of 1887 (which Scott Whiteley believes to be his finest work) at one end of the scale, and several chorale preludes from the 1920s at the other. These latter, often dreamy and celeste-laden, are reminiscent of a de-chromaticised Karg-Elert. The disc also includes a brief and arresting Air and Variations in A flat, Noble’s final – and hopeless – attempt to impress the irascible and bluntly unreceptive W.T. Best.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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