12 LunaLuna
Anna Lapwood (organ)
Sony Classical 19658831402 (sonyclassical.com/releases/releases-details/luna)

The pipe organ is considered by many to be a fossil: an academic, inflexible instrument that exists in large, inaccessible places and plays long, complex music – or a hymn-churning jukebox – depending on who you ask. “My grandmother played the organ at [insert small local church here]” is a line that organists hear dozens of times a year, and it is this relatively limited window of exposure that makes the organ a public relations challenge.

Enter Anna Lapwood. With over one million followers on social media, Lapwood is introducing a new international audience to the pipe organ through behind-the-scenes videos, genre-bending collaborations and open access to some of the world’s finest instruments. According to the album’s press release, “The power of social media gives the ability to demystify the outdated baggage the organ once carried along with it, throwing open the doors to new music, new possibilities, and new audiences.” 

Luna, Lapwood’s recently released recording, features 15 tracks including transcriptions of film and piano scores, as well as new music. There is a great range of material here, from the Interstellar and Pride and Prejudice soundtracks to Philip Glass, Chopin and Debussy, as well as two selections performed by Lapwood’s choir at the Chapel of Pembroke College, Cambridge. 

Much like Lapwood’s social media presence, this recording is an ideal vehicle for acquainting new audiences with the organ. The music is light and easy to listen to, expertly prepared and performed, and recorded in a way that captures the rich acoustic palate of the instrument. For experienced organophiles desiring the depth and density of Bach and Widor, it is best to look elsewhere; for those seeking an accessible and enjoyable introduction to the organ, however, there is a wealth of material here that will be utterly delightful.

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