Info & track listings
Percy William Whitlock was one of the outstanding English organist-composers of his time. Born in Chatham on 1st June 1903, he spent his first twenty-seven years in the Medway towns, in particular at Rochester, where he was associated with the Cathedral from 1911-1930, initially as a probationer chorister (under Bertram Luard-Selby) and later as assistant organist to Charles Hylton Stewart. He also held church organist and choirmaster posts at St Marys, Chatham and St Matthews, Borstal.
In 1920 he took up a Kent County Scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied composition with Charles Stanford and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and organ with Henry Ley. His fame as a performer and composer spread quickly when in 1930 he moved to Bournemouth, first as Director of Music at St Stephens Church (1930-35) and then, from 1932, as Municipal Organist for the Borough. He was also an active broadcaster and musical journalist. He died on 1st May 1946 aged forty-two.
Whitlocks oeuvre was large and varied, including orchestral works (notably the Symphony in G minor for organ and orchestra of 1937) composed mostly for the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra choral and church music, hymn-tunes, solo songs and several chamber works, including a magnificent Piano Quintet (also in G minor!). His reputation, however, remains firmly based on his beautifully-crafted organ music.
Roderick Elms studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He appears in concerts, recordings and broadcasts with most of Britains major orchestras, both as a principal keyboard player and as a soloist. He has broadcast regularly for the BBC for more than thirty years on Radio 3 as well as Radio 2s Friday Night is Music Night and has made many solo recordings with the Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, London Symphony and BBC Concert Orchestras.
He also works as a chamber player and for several years he was London pianist to the eminent cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Foreign tours have taken him around most of Europe as well as to the United States, Canada, South Africa, Israel, Russia and the Far East. He has an extensive discography for EMI and Chandos which includes solo contributions as well as all the major oratorios of Elgar and also the award-winning recording of Brittens War Requiem with the LSO and Richard Hickox.
His solo piano recordings include, with the RPO, Hubert Baths Cornish Rhapsody, the Spellbound and Warsaw Concertos, and da Fallas Nights in the Gardens of Spain. Other recordings include music of Frank Martin with the LPO and of Charles Williams and Mischa Spoliansky with the BBCCO. Roderick Elms has contributed to many film soundtracks including Aliens, Dangerous Liaisons and the epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
In recent years his Christmas arrangements and compositions have become very popular both in the UK and North America, and an album of his festive music Festive Frolic was released by Naxos in 2007 featuring the RPO and the Joyful Company of Singers conducted by Stephen Bell. A recording of his instrumental music A Little Fall-ish! is available on the Dutton-Epoch label, which includes his Concertino for Celeste, P?an for organ & strings and Cygncopations for cor anglais & chamber orchestra.
He is married to the pianist Joanna Smith, for whom he wrote Paper Dances a concert piece for piano duet and orchestra which was recorded and broadcast by the BBC in September 2008. They have a young son, Matthew. www.masterkeyboards.co.uk The organ in Rugby School Chapel (at the time of the recording in 1985) was built by Thomas Elliot in 1823 with subsequent work on the instrument undertaken by William Hill (1855) and Bryceson (1872). It sat in a chamber to the North of the Chancel and originally had an attached console, in a small gallery overlooking the Nave. Major work was undertaken by Hill, Norman & Beard in 1910 which included tonal alteration and a new pneumatic action.
|1||05:34||Sortie (Seven Sketches on Verses from the Psalms)|
|2||04:05||After an Old French Air (Three Reflections)|
|3||03:07||SIX HYMN-PRELUDES Book I. Darwall’s 148th|
|4||03:33||SIX HYMN-PRELUDES Book I. Song 13|
|5||04:06||SIX HYMN-PRELUDES Book I. Deo Gracias|
|6||04:52||Pazienza (Three Reflections)|
|7||02:40||SIX HYMN-PRELUDES Book II. St Denio|
|8||03:24||SIX HYMN-PRELUDES Book II. Werde Munter|
|9||05:33||SIX HYMN-PRELUDES Book II. King’s Lynn|
|10||03:27||Dolcezza (Three Reflections)|
|11||02:37||FIVE SHORT PIECES. Allegretto|
|12||03:50||FIVE SHORT PIECES. Folk Tune|
|13||02:34||FIVE SHORT PIECES. Andante Tranquillo|
|14||01:48||FIVE SHORT PIECES. Scherzo|
|15||02:54||FIVE SHORT PIECES. P?an|
|16||03:06||Salix (Plymouth Suite)|
|17||13:37||Fantasie Choral No. 2 in F# minor|