CD Duration: 77.35 / Year: 2017
November 2017 compilation of Light Classical pieces. 20 tracks played on the Technics FA-1 and 3 on the Turner’s Wurlitzer.
Sleeping Beauty Waltz
Flight of the Bumble Bee
March of the Toreadors
Piano Concerto No.21 in C Major
National Emblem March
Waltz of the Flowers
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
William Tell Overture – Finale
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves
Hungarian Dance No.5
Prelude in Classic Style
Rondo Alla Turca
Maple Leaf Rag
Legend of the Glass Mountain
Pomp & Circumstance No.4
Blue Danube Waltz
Toccata in F
Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Review by Ian King
Issue 359 – January 2018
(CD) Nicholas Martin – Light Fantastic
Running Time 77 minutes – Price £11.95
Nicholas Martin has two releases this November, the first one is a compilation which plucks the best light classical pieces from his various recordings and places them neatly together on one CD. Penny Weedon did the same thing in 2014 with her “In Classic Style” CD, but this pushes that to the limit with seventy-seven minutes worth of some of the most popular classical pieces and virtually all of them instantly recognisable. All but three of the tracks are recorded on Nick’s most recent Technics model, the FA-1, plus there are three Wurlitzer tracks from his tenure at Turners Musical Merry-Go-Round.
As you would expect, Nick’s playing is excellent throughout and shows what the FA-1 can sound like in the capable hands (and feet) of an expert. It’s far better to listen to someone who knows what they’re doing on an older organ, than someone who doesn’t on the latest model! The orchestral presets of the Technics may not be as ultra-realistic as the new keyboards, but when there’s a lot going on in the arrangements, it can hold its own. Even on sparse tracks like “Meditation” when the solo violin is laid bare, it still sounds impressive. The (sx-)FA-1 was released in the mid-1990s, with the first CD release being Phil Kelsall’s “My Way” in 1996, with Nicks first recording following in 2001 with “My Concerto For You”.
The dexterity on the opening “Sleeping Beauty Waltz” is remarkable enough, until you hear track two and “Flight of the Bumble Bee,” then we get “Warsaw Concerto” and so on… Every track on the CD is pretty noteworthy and even though I’m not really a fan of compilations (or complete classical CDs for that matter), this is a stand-out recording which is a joy to listen to. As it’s a classical selection, it doesn’t feature the drawbar side of things, just the orchestral sounds of the organ.
Review by Ian King from Organ and Keyboard Cavalcade Magazine.