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November 3rd, 2013 - Excellent Reviews of Complete Organ Works of Georgi Mushel
Excellent Reviews of Complete Organ Works of Georgi Mushel

Five star review in The Listener (Autumn 2013) - "I'm in love immediately and spontaneously in the peculiar music of choice-Uzbeks. One of the best organ music recordings I've heard so far this year. He (Saunders), in the UK has an excellent reputation... this album is his debut on the record market. It is high time, we can only say, as Saunders turns out to be an excellent performer, the phrasing is very good, technically also highly convincing and he possesses that rare gift of a personal and individual touch in organ music."

Five star review in Choir and Organ Magazine (November/December 2013) - "If, like me, your knowledge of Mushel's music extends barely beyond the ubiquitous Toccata, then you will richly rewarded by delving into this fine musical survey. Mushel's music is full of joie de vivre, thoroughly imbued with the traditions of Uzbek folksong and dance. Composer and avid painter, his music is undeniably pictorial with colourful harmonies. Saunders playing is warmly persuasive maintaining interest with a good shape of line. A highly recommended introduction to a neglected composer." 

This disc offers a selection of compositions by Georgi Alexandrovich Mushel, the former Professor of Composition at the Conservatory of Tashkent who became one of the first true exponents of Uzbek music. Also a gifted painter, he found inspiration in many forms of art, including the architecture of Samarkand, the ancient city. The music of his Samarkand Suite represents the many different elements of the site, such as the Deserted Hills surrounding the city and the monuments shown in their full splendour thanks to the Rising Sun.

The disc also contains the Uzbekistan Suite, beginning with the beautiful Aria and ending with a sprightly Toccata, as well as the Six Pieces for organ, and Elegy - originally written for piano. 

Other information:
- New recording (2012) on the Grand Organ of Leeds Cathedral, by Benjamin Saunders. First and only complete recording of this body of music.
- Georgi Mushel (1909-1989) was an Uzbek composer and painter. His great love for his home country he expressed in his paintings and his compositions, which are inspired by the rich traditions and music of Uzbekistan. His music is picturesque, colourful and often exuberant in its vivid depiction of nature and folklore.
- The Toccata from the Uzbekistan Suite is a popular showcase of organ virtuosity, and is played in its original version, a vibrant celebration of Soviet happiness and optimism!
- Contains notes on the composer and works.

The CD is available here.


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