David Briggs

Concert Organist and Composer

Recordings - 3

Two of a Kind

Wayne Marshall and David Briggs Play Organs Ancient and Modern at Gloucester Cathedral
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Trois Esquisses Gothiques, Langlais
Suite Gothique, Boëllmann
Toccata and Fugue in D Min, JS Bach
Improvisations on the 'Marseillaise', Cochereau
Pange Lingua, Hakim
Jazz Improvisations

"...A harnessing of arguably the two finest talents of their generation, the playing of Marshall and Briggs is unquestionably marvellous: shapely, virtuosic, and poetic in turns... The ubiquitous 'Toccata and Fugue' (attrib. Bach) makes yet another appearance, but do get the disc for this alone; an imaginative and compellingly creative approach to a hackneyed war-horse, recalling the original improvisatory conception of such works. At the two major fermata points towards the fugue's conclusion, firstly Marshall and then Briggs launch into lengthy cadenzas pinning you to the back of your seat; stupendous technical brilliance, musical imagination of the first order and breathless inspiration (is this what Pierre always craved to do to Bach...?)...The final jazz improvisation (with both organists) flagrantly conjures up Errol Garner in stomping, thundering mood.
If you want to smile today, buy this disc."
(The Organists' Review, May 2001)

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Two of a Kind
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Sounds Artistic

David Briggs Plays the Organ of Blackburn Cathedral
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An Occasional Trumpet Voluntary - Gower
Cathédrales - Vierne
Suite de Danses Improvisées - Cochereau/Briggs
Pictures at an Exhibition - Mussorgsky/John

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Sounds Artistic
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Re-opening Organ Concert

Gloucester Cathedral
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Speeches by the Dean of Gloucester and David Briggs
Etude Symphonique, Bossi
Passacaglia BWV 582, J S Bach
Noel "Ou s'en vont les gais bergers", Balbastre
Choral No 2, Cesar Franck
Prelude and Fugue in A flat, Marcel Dupre
Mouvement, Jean Berveiller
Berceuse-Paraphrase, George Baker
Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H, Liszt
and a 26 minute Improvisation on themes from Holst's "The Planets"

"... it is impossible to express adequately what a privilege it was just to have been present. What a momentous occasion it was! ... Your wonderful improvisation quite overwhelmed us all..."
(Terence Atkins, Barnet Parish Church, London)

"You will no doubt be swamped in letters of appreciation of your recital last night in the cathedral - but I feel I must write and say how much my wife and I enjoyed your prodigious display of the Nicholson. Every piece was an eye-opener of interpretation as well as showing the vast variety of sounds now obtainable... It seemed to me that some of the most remarkable tone colours were heard in your marvellous 'Planets' improvisation: Some sounds that I have never heard from any organ before"
(Dr Nigel Davison, Bristol University)

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Re-opening Organ Concert

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Great European Organ No.16

(St George's Hall, Liverpool)
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Trois Improvisations, Vierne
Symphonie-Passion, Dupre
Alouette, gentille Alouette, Cochereau

"A truly great performance of Dupre's mighty Symphonie-Passion," (CD review)
"A unique achievement" (Organists' Review)

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Great European Organ No.16
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Bach at Gloucester

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including Fugue a la Gigue, Toccata and Fugue in D Min (Dorian), Trio Sonata No.1, 4 Chorale Preludes, Prelude and Fugue in E Min (The Wedge) Available from David Briggs

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Bach at Gloucester

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Mahler Symphony No 5

(Transcribed From The Full Orchestral Score by David Briggs)
(Gloucester Cathedral Organ)
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Released in August 1998 and has become Priory Records' best selling organ CD ever with over 3,000 copies sold

"His performance is truly virtuosic..." (Gramophone)

"Briggs's arrangement... is splendid in every way, full of imaginative touches, ... and performed here with an unerring sense of style and architectural proportion,"
***** rating (BBC Music Magazine 12/98)

"An astonishing transcription... Briggs shows his innate musicianship and sheer virtuosity in this performance - the seamless diminuendo from full organ to all but nothing at the end of the Adagietto is staggering, as is the whirlwind of notes and sonic fireworks he presents us with in the Finale. If there is one recording you simply MUST buy this year, this is it." (The Organ, 12/98)

"In this unique recording David Briggs combines to breathtaking effect a prodigious technique, a profound internal knowledge of this piece, and the musical maturity to pull such a huge canvas together .... No one should be without this milestone recording. Listen and hear Mahler as never before imagined" (selected as Editor's Choice, Organists' Review, Feb 99)

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Mahler Symphony No 5
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Popular Organ Music Vol 2

(Gloucester Cathedral)
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(J S Bach, Haydn, Franck, Cochereau, Dukas (Sorcerer's Apprentice), etc)

"Virtuoso playing and stunning organ sound - sample Briggs astonishing performance of his own transcription of L'Apprenti sorcier and you'll be hooked" (Gramophone, 3/97)

"I have discovered with a great joy your fantastic recording of Dukas' L'Apprenti sorcier .... I listen to your CD almost daily since I bought it... " (PL, Paris.)

"This playing has more sheer elan, and joie de vivre than you could imagine ....... .... the most enjoyable organ album I've heard in years .... (Keyboard Connections, 1/97)

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Popular Organ Music Vol 2
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Improvisations 2

Gloucester Cathedral and Oratory of St Neri
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72 minutes of concert and liturgical improvisations, featuring the magnificent organs of Gloucester Cathedral and The Oratory of St Philip Neri, Birmingham
Variations on 'Baa-Baa, Black Sheep'
Symphony in four movements (after P. Cochereau)
Magnificat a l'usage de Notre-Dame de Paris (with plainchant)
Improvisations on St Matthew's Gospel

Nominated STAR RECORDING in 'The Organ' magazine, February 2000:
"This is a CD to be reckoned with and a benchmark for improvisation... The Symphony is the finest thing David Briggs has created to date and a testimony to the strength of improvisation in Britain... It breathes the vitality and joy of Cochereau's finest works while presenting us with a piece that is tightly structured, controlled and endlessly inventive. The Scherzo has a dramatic intensity and lightness which is captivating while the third movement, Lento, is breathtakingly beautiful; both must surely be transcribed and published as soon as possible. ["You must be joking!!" DJB] I cannot believe they will not be heard regularly in recitals... The more I have listened to it the more I have taken from it and come to realise its strengths."

"... The CD is stunning and I do thank you so very much for it. I turned the volume right up and wallowed in it! It will give me many hours of happiness and amazement... "
(Beryl Chempin, Professor, Birmingham Conservatoire)

"Merci beaucoup pour le superbe CD... c'est un bel hommage a Pierre Cochereau"
(Francois Lombard, Calais)

"We have been greatly touched by Improvisations 2"
(Francois & Yvette Carbou, Disques du Solstice, France)

"This tour de force of the improvisational talents of David Briggs is substantially an 'hommage a Pierre Cochereau'... Yet, David briggs has a musical vocabulary that is his own and a distinctive style of playing , too, especially in the clarity of his articulation. He speaks French with a slight English accent, as it were...

Improvisations of the highest quality (and those of David Briggs are certainly in this category) create the illusion of perfect pieces in an instant. They suggest both intense inspiration and wanton artistic profligacy. ...This disc is sure to delight and astound. It is the fruits of an outstandingly fecund mind and virtuosic performer"
(Organists' Review, August 2000)

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Improvisations 2

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Improvisations 3

Three Concert Improvisations On The Organ Of Gloucester Cathedral
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Suite Improvisée, en style francais du 17e siècle
Prelude, Adagio and Variations on 'Old MacDonald had a farm'
Triptyque Symphonique improvisée
Available from David Briggs

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Improvisations 3
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Requiem & Organ Concerto

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Ave Maria
Organ Concerto
Blackburn Cathedral
Euphony - Northern Chamber Orchestra
Greg Morris (Organ) - Richard Tanner (Conductor)

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Requiem & Organ Concerto
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