In London Town: British Organ Music on the Dobson Organ of Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue
From the moment this organ project began, it was without doubt that the new Dobson organ at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue would be an instrument of world-class beauty and of historic importance. One of the fundamental aspects of this new organ was to have a multi-faceted instrument able to support the congregational singing, choral accompaniments and a vast span of the organ literature. When considering what to record on this disc, I decided to focus on music close to my heart – the wonderful and varied music of Great Britain, from both past and present. A combination of works originally for organ and transcriptions for the instrument allowed me to explore the full tonal palette of the instrument and tease out all that the organ has to offer.
A new work that features on this disc is Andrew Carter’s Lacrimae which was written in memory of John Scott after his sudden death in 2015. Throughout the recording of this disc, I was constantly reminded of John and what a wonderful mentor he had been to me throughout my career – firstly as a chorister at St. Paul’s and later at Saint Thomas. It was poignant to be recording this disc on the organ that, sadly, he never saw come to fruition; I would like to dedicate this disc to him. Given that many of my performances of the works on this album are indebted to his immaculate recordings and performances (which were truly mesmerising), I hope he would approve of this programme as a means to show off the immense beauty of this instrument. Benjamin Sheen
"I enjoyed this programme. The repertoire is impressive, Benjamin Sheen’s playing is outstanding, and the recording captures the colours of the organ. This is a fantastic exploration of some popular pieces in arrangement and some less well-known original works." John France, musicweb-international.com [read complete review]