Third recording of ‘Christus’

At the end of August 2020, Tom Winpenny recorded the epic 5-movement Passion Symphony Christus at St Albans Cathedral, where he is Assistant Organist. This follows two previous commercial recordings of the work: the Priory recording of the world premiere performance given by Iain Simcock at Westminster Cathedral on 11th April 1991 [PRCD390], and a live 1997 performance at St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, London, by Jeremy Filsell, issued by Signum Records in 2005 [SIGCD062].

Winpenny’s recording was made in the presence of the composer and will be supplemented on disc by three much shorter works: the Improvisation on Adeste Fideles [2005], the chorale prelude Schmucke dich, O liebe Seele [2013] and the Fantasia-Toccata Surrexit Hodie, commissioned in 2020 as an Easter recessional for St Albans Cathedral by the then Organ Scholar, Marko Sever.

Tom Winpenny’s virtuoso brilliance and sensitivity have been magnificently captured by recording engineer and producer Mark Hartt-Palmer, and the recording will be released on the Naxos label late in 2021, marking a significant milestone in the annals of organ performance on disc. An interval of approximately fifteen years between each Christus recording and the next could become a pattern for the future, and it will be interesting to see who else takes up the gargantuan challenge… To date, this Everest of the organ repertoire has been performed with unfailing brilliance by (in order) Iain Simcock, Jeremy Filsell, David Goode, Robert Quinney, Kevin Bowyer, David Leigh, Tristan Russcher, Christian Wilson and Thomas Winpenny, in the England, Scotland, Ulster, Germany and the USA.

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