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Thomas Trotter

Organ of Symphony Hall, Birmingham

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SKU: REGCD566 Categories: ,


Organ music – magical, symphonic, dancing, and jazzy – from one of the world’s great wizards of the organ, Thomas Trotter,  performed on the magnificent 2001 Klais organ in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.

An unashamedly entertaining selection of old and new, with well-loved pieces from Saint-Saëns and Widor to Thomas Trotter’s own new transcription of Dukas’s ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’. Two sets of dances – one from the 16th-century Susato and the other from the 20th-century John Gardner are a riot of rhythmic energy and expressive colour.

Derek Bourgeois’s ‘Serenade’ (written for the composer’s own wedding), and Zsolt Gárdonyi’s ‘Mozart Changes’ are engagingly-quirky and unusual sorbets, and the programme ends with a breath-taking display of dazzling virtuosity in the ‘Sweelinck Variations’ by the Canadian composer, Rachel Laurin, commissioned for Thomas Trotter’s 800th recital as Birmingham City Organist in 2019. These explore every aspect of organ technique including a jaw-dropping pedal cadenza.

Track List

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Paul Dukas (1865–1935), arr Thomas Trotter (b 1957)
Symphonie V, Op 42, No 1: i Allegro Vivace – Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937)
Five Dances for organ, Op 179 – John Gardner (1917–2011)
I Lavolta
II Pavin
IV Lament
V Fling
Fantaisie in E flat major – Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921)
Serenade, Op 22 – Derek Bourgeois (1941–2017)
Dances from Danserye (1551) – Tielman Susato (c.1510–70), arr Thomas Trotter
La morisque
Bergerette ‘Sans roch’
Pavane ‘Mille regretz’
Mozart Changes – Zsolt Gárdonyi (b 1946)
Sweelinck Variations, Op 96 – Rachel Laurin (b 1961)

Total playing time: 74:46

Production credits

Recorded in Symphony Hall, Birmingham 21/22 August 2021 Page turner: John Stormont

Tuner: David Gallichan

Recording producer and engineer: Gary Cole

Recording assistant: Pippa Cole

Sample audio extracts


‘It’s a really well-worked recital it demonstrates the character of this modern Klais concert organ. It’s capable of Wurlitzer-like washes of sound in the Jazzy Mozart variations here, you get full-on symphonic assaults in the Widor and Sans-Saëns, fabulous wit and colours in Trotter’s own transcription of the Sorcerer’s apprentice as well. It’s a really good sound capturing the concert hall acoustic.’ Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review 12. February 2022

‘Clarity of articulation, clarity of tone-colours and clarity of the recording make this CD an irresistible and thrilling ride from start to finish, with the sustained pungency of the organ’s reeds and brilliance of the mixtures firmly to the fore.’ ★★★★★ Choir and Organ May 2022

‘…humorous, exuberant, meditative, and engaging’ American Record Guide May/June 2022

‘In his [Thomas Trotter’s] role as city organist he is brilliantly wearing the mantle passed down to him by such luminaries as Best, Lemare, and Thalben Ball. This recording is a stunning document of both player and instrument that should be in every organ lovers collection.’ The American Organist  August 2022

‘A brilliant record, both in terms or choice of repertoire and in execution – musical and technical. This disc is clearly aimed at those attracted to organ music from the late-Romantic period onward, and each piece has been cleverly chosen to appeal to the same music-lover…Needless to say, the performances are splendid – tempos and registration and Trotter’s technical command are all flawless, and Regent captures the full range of this marvellous instrument admirably. Strongly recommended.’ ★★★★★ The Organ, Spring 2022

‘…we are treated to yet another virtuosic display’ Organists’ Review May 2022

‘Thomas Trotter has devised a splendidly diverse programme. I have noted above the impressive and creative registrations that he has chosen for these pieces. Equally extraordinary is his technique and his irrepressible enthusiasm apparent in every bar that he plays.’ MusicWeb August 2023

‘Most readers will be aware of the brilliance of Thomas Trotter, but some might not appreciate his versatility as both a performer and arranger. This disc reveals the dual aspects of his talent. The recording, made in a couple of days in August 2021 demonstrates Trotter’s ability to perform music in a lighter style… This superb recording is close miked, but prospective purchasers will be aware that the instrument is of German design and specifically built for a concert hall. Certainly one of the most enjoyable organ discs I have played in a long while.’ Cathedral Music Magazine 2/22

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