Virgil Fox Encores

Virgil Fox Encores

3.0 1
by Virgil Fox
     
 
RCA's Living Stereo LPs of the 1950s represent something akin to the moon shots of the following decade: technological achievements that have still not been equaled, almost 50 years later in the case of this 1958 recording. They were engineering accomplishments above all, and they evoke an era when good old American know-how was widely admired. The photo of Virgil Fox

Overview

RCA's Living Stereo LPs of the 1950s represent something akin to the moon shots of the following decade: technological achievements that have still not been equaled, almost 50 years later in the case of this 1958 recording. They were engineering accomplishments above all, and they evoke an era when good old American know-how was widely admired. The photo of Virgil Fox on the cover of this album fits the concept; he seems almost scientific in his frameless eyeglasses. And this music shows off the RCA sound at its very best. The organ, too, is American; it is the Aeolian-Skinner instrument at Riverside Church in New York, a sonic spectacular that merited its own section of the liner notes (the original text of which is reproduced in the booklet). Not a glimmer of sound issuing forth from its pipes escaped the reach of producer John Pfeiffer and his equipment (not even what sounds like a truck driving past the church at one point). It is quite characteristically 1950s-American of the notes to complain of the paucity of great organ music written "while the pipe-organ was in its most vigorous stage of development technically," and what happens musically is that the Baroque selections are amped-up to meet the specifications. Fox's Bach is very appealing in its sheer towering sound, but a bit overdone in its too-varied articulation (as if the music were being earnestly explained to us), accelerandos, multi-octave doublings, and big, 1950s-movie moments of sentiment. As we get closer to our own time, things improve; a "Canon in B minor" by Robert Schumann has a whiz-kid impatience that Fox catches nicely, and the famous "Pomp and Circumstance" march by Edward Elgar (the one played for graduations and weddings) is included as a bonus track; it was recorded during the original session but never released. With the Toccata from the "Symphony No. 5 for organ in F minor, Op. 42," and with Henri Mulet's "Thou Art the Rock," which were written with extreme organs in mind, things really get rocking. Invite your friends over, fire up your Super Audio CD player, and pump up the volume. You'll shake not only your house, but the whole damn zip code. Maybe it all was, like the Apollo space program (which at its height consumed 4.4 percent of the entire national budget of the United States), all a bit too much. But if you're in search of five-star sound with which to challenge good speakers or headphones, here it is -- and give the reissue team an extra asterisk for a superb CD transfer.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post - Tim Page
You haven't lived until you hear Fox pull out all the stops in Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" March No. 1.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/07/2006
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828767162621
catalogNumber:
71626

Tracks

  1. Fugue for organ in G minor ("Little"), BWV 578 (BC J66)  (03:26)
  2. Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

    1. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring  (04:12)
  3. Organ Concerto in F major, Op.4/4, HWV 292: I. Allegro

    1. I. Allegro  (05:20)
  4. Ye Sweet Retreat for organ  (04:53)
  5. Carillon sortie on "Tu Es Petra" for organ in D major  (03:43)
  6. The Prince of Denmark's March (Trumpet Voluntary) for brass, winds & percussion (or keyboard or trumpet & organ) in D major  (03:09)
  7. Trio Sonata for organ No. 6 in G major, BWV 530 (BC J6)  (03:20)
  8. Work(s): Concerto No. 1 for Strings: Aria

    1. Concerto No. 1 for Strings: Aria  (03:55)
  9. Nun danket alle Gott, wedding chorale for chorus & orchestra, BWV 252 (BC F148.2)  (03:45)
  10. Etude No. 5 for pedal piano in B minor, Op. 56/5  (02:18)
  11. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air on the G String

    1. Air on the G String  (04:32)
  12. Symphony No. 5 in F minor for organ, Op. 42/1: Toccata

    1. Toccata  (04:23)
  13. Pomp and Circumstance March No.1, for orchestra in D major, Op. 39/1  (04:14)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Virgil Fox   Primary Artist

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Virgil Fox Encores 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago