Thomas Hewitt Jones' Carnival. Composed 2010. Written for Martin Neary, President of the Organists Charitable Trust.
These five short works are all extracted from the excellent Little Organ Book from the Organists Charitable Trust, edited by Martin Neary and first published by Novello in 2010. This is a wonderful resource of 11 mainly new works by British composers, all of moderate difficulty and well-defined character. Iain Farrington’s Bluesday is full of delicious harmonies, with a bold climax framed by a gentle beginning and ending. David Bednall’s Fanfare is a joyful work that would be a good recital opener or festival voluntary, with a chance to unleash the big reeds. The simplicity of the title of Howells’s Cradle Song belies a richness and warmth that make this a moving miniature. John Rutter’s evening prelude from 1979 on the plainsong hymn Te lucis ante terminum is tender and clear, with some surprisingly plangent harmonies. Thomas Hewitt Jones’s Carnival is an outburst of festivity and bravura. All these pieces are very much worth playing, though organists interested in more than two of them would be better served purchasing a copy of the original anthology which is still very well priced (Little Organ Book, Novello 9781849386814 £9.95). - Sunday by Sunday