«Hakim: Embrace Of Fire”
Toccata on the Introit for the Feast of the Epiphany,
The Embrace of Fire,
Hommage à Igor Stravinski,
Simon Leach (Organ), John Turner (Recorder), Ranald McCusker (Tenor), Benedict Holland (Violin).
French-Lebanese composer Naji Hakim is renowned as one of Europe’s most gifted composers and has written a good deal of music for organ. This album includes one of his most celebrated works ‘The Embrace of Fire’ as well as music for the unusual combinations of organ/violin and organ/recorder. The flexibility of the fine 1871 William Hill organ at the Church of the Holy name in Manchester, England, allows perfect balance in these as well as power in the organ solo works. Some works are accompanied by a plainsong chant on which the instrumental work is based. Simon Leach won his first major prize while at college, playing ‘The Embrace of Fire’ and has since given premieres of several Hakim works, developing a close affinity to the composer and his work. Simon has been organist at The Holy Name, Manchester for several years and in September 2018 takes up a new post as organist at St. Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh. John Turner and Benedict Holland are well known and top-rated soloists while Ranald McCusker is developing his tenor career after success as a boy treble.