The four sonatas on this album, are played by Philip Dore, an organ scholar of Queen's College, Cambridge.
The First Sonata by Felix Mendelssohn (notable for its performance at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London) is very varied, in its make-up. Starting with a splendidly dignified Allegro first movement, the work moves on, as if by contrast, to a quiet movement titled Adagio (although with the metronome indicated at a reading of 100, Andante might well have been a more appropriate direction).
Some of the First sonata would seem to look forward to Cesar Franck, while the third and final movement, Andante, suggests another great organist, Charles-Marie Widor ...
Side One : Sonata No.1 in F minor Op.65/1 , by Mendelssohn :-
1) I Allegro moderato e serioso 2) II Adagio 3) III Andante, Recit. - Allegro vivace assai
One of the most interesting facets of the Second Sonata, is its introduction, an impressive 24 bars, with the metronome indication at 69. Followed by a slow Allegro - which, in turn, leads on to a bold and almost martial processional in three-quarter time - the final movement is a short, to the point, Fugue.
Side One : Sonata No.2 in C minor Op.65/2 , by Mendelssohn :-
4) I Grave - Adagio 5) II Allegro maestoso e vivace 6) III Fuga : Allegro moderato
By contrast, as we shall see, the most striking part of Mendelssohn's Third Sonata, is its middle-part ! Opening with a dignified and impressive section in A major, this is followed by a long Fugue in the tonic minor, which is worked out with splendid resourcefulness. The Chorale is introduced in the pedal part with great effect and the pace quickens with increased interest until the opening theme is recalled, rounding off an impressive middle. The concluding movement is an Andante.
Side Two : Sonata No.3 in A major Op.65/3 , by Mendelssohn :-
1) I Con moto maestoso 2) II Andante tranquillo
The first and last movements of the Fourth Sonata in B flat have much to say for themselves. Opening with a brilliant semiquaver, the first movement moves on to a vigorous second subject, before these two themes are combined. Then, the first movement opens and closes with a firm march-like figure with a fugal middle section. The second movement has the metronome indicated at 84, and is titled Andante religioso. The third movement possesses a melodic charm and a graceful transparency of texture, with the semiquaver accompaniment unbroken throughout.
Side Two : Sonata No.4 in B flat Op.65/4 , by Mendelssohn :-
4) I Allegro con brio 5) II Andante religioso 6) III Allegretto 7) IV Allegro maestoso e vivace
Records graded visually to RRPG grades (record/sleeve) EX-/EX-.