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Giles Swayne

Publisher: Novello & Co

Riff-raff (1983)
commissioned by the St Alban's Organ Festival
Novello & Co Ltd
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
18 Minutes

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Programme Note
Giles Swayne Riff-raff (1983)
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  • Soloist(s)
    Philip Rushforth
  • Soloist(s)
    Tobias Frank, organ
  • 06 DEC 2001
    St. John's, Smith Square
    Philip Rushforth, organ
  • 17 MAY 2001
    St. John's, Smith Square
    Christopher Nickol, organ

Starting with bold, separate chords, the work really gets underway with the introduction of a rhythmic idea on the pedals, and the music grows, sometimes as free fantasia, sometimes as a chaconne. There is the most joyous outburst of dancing about halfway through the piece. If anyone had any doubts about the easy accessibility of either contemporary music or organ music in general, then this work should be heard, for it is very easily approachable, using a straightforward language, although not perhaps in a straightforward way, but making perfect sense. This is a real winner of a piece and should be in every organist’s repertoire, because it would provide such relief from what can sometimes be a solemn experience: the reverence of an organ recital! Magnificent.
Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International,01/12/2009
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