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Marc Rochester
Gramophone, November 2011

Strong advocacy for the music of a composer fascinated by the church

…the music here reflects a composer fascinated by the church and its scriptures…the string scoring is highly accomplished, and there is a real sense of commitment behind Graham Ross’s sharply focused direction…Tom Winpenny brings assurance with some adept handling of Bingham’s complex organ-writing.

Paul Riley
BBC Music Magazine, September 2011

Tom Winpenny opens an illuminating window on Bingham’s richly-coloured, programmatically-driven engagement with the ‘king of instruments’…Given Bingham’s exacting colouristic emphasis, it’s as well that Winpenny knows the St. Albans instrument like the back of his hand, coaxing an array of voluptuous and apposite sounds.  But he’s also alert to the fluidity of her narratives, and, when called upon to do so, serves up virtuosic flair with incorrigible panache.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2011

Judith Bingham is one of the most highly respected English composers of liturgical music, her roots firmly planted in an evolving tonality. Her musical career first took her into the vocal field where for twelve years she was a member of the BBC Singers. Writing music had come into her life as a teenager, and having studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music, she decided in 1995, at the age of forty-three, to devote herself to composition. Though many works were to follow, she has not been overly prolific, though her works cover many genres, her long-term singing in church choirs having instilled into her the massive range of tonal colours available to the organist. She would cite the influence of French organ music as having shaped her output in this field, a fact made clear in the thirteen solo works included in this disc, most receiving their world premiere recording. Many are created from muted colours and of short duration, the Annunciation 1 and the three movements of Ancient Sunlight being particularly beautiful. The exception comes in the lengthy score, Into the wilderness, depicting Christ’s temptation by Satan. Throughout the music is seldom easy to play, the scherzo Vol de nuit being a short virtuoso showpiece. Opening the disc is the instantly memorable Jacob’s Ladder for organ and strings, and shows Bingham’s keen sense of rhythm and movement, its four sections being a highly illuminated musical depiction of the Biblical story. The performances by Tom Winpenny, one of the UK’s outstanding younger generation organists, were given in the presence of the composer on the massive organ in St Alban’s Cathedral, the instrument now made famous by the International Organ Festival and Competition. Very potent contribution by The Dmitri Ensemble in the first score, the whole stunningly captured by the sound engineer.

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