SOLAS – Gerard McChrystal, saxophones • Christian Wilson, organ

£12.00 + P&P

In stock

‘CD of the Week’ (BBC Radio Ulster ‘Classical Connections’)
FHR93 Categories: , ,


Released: 19 June 2020

SOLAS features music by Haydn, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, Alain and Vinci arranged by Gerard McChrystal and Christian Wilson along with original works by Barbara Thompson and James Whitbourn. The album not only highlights beautiful sounds from the soprano and alto saxophones but also features the incredible energy of the sopranino saxophone, rarely recorded.

Gerard McChrystal
sopranino, soprano and alto saxophones
Christian Wilson organ

Leonardo VINCI (1690–1730)
1–2. Adagio and Allegro (from Flute Sonata No. 1 in D major)

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732–1809)
3. Adagio (from String Quartet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 1, No. 1, Hob.III:I, ‘La Chasse’)

Nicolas Chédeville (1705–1782)
(previously attributed Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741))
4–7. Sonata No. 6 in G minor, Op. 13, RV 58, ‘Il pastor fido’

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) << also released as a single (digital platforms only): 5 May 2020 [FHR97S] >>
8. Eternal Source of Light Divine, HWV 74

Barbara THOMPSON (1944–)
9. Green (2002)

10. Cara sposa, amante cara, dove sei? (from Rinaldo, HWV 7, Act I)

James WHITBOURN (1963–)
11. A Brief Story of Peter Abelard (2011)

12–15.  Violin Sonata in G Minor, Op. 1, No. 6, HWV 364a

Jehan ALAIN (1911–1940)
16. Choral phrygien, AWV 76 (1935)

Henry PURCELL (1659–1695)
17. When I am laid in earth (from Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626, Act III)

Recorded at The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, The Tower of London
Engineered and produced by Ken Blair • Edited by Will Anderson and Charlie Hembrow
24bit, 44.1kHz hi-resolution recording and mastering

Press Quotes

“Who’d have thought the combination of sax and organ could be quite so enchanting. McChrystal makes the sopranino sax sing with sweet beauty in a wide-ranging programme. Quite lovely” (**** BBC Music Magazine)

“The album is rather beautiful… The sound is beautifully captured on this recording… A charming arrangement.. An excellent, excellent and unusual album.” (Classic FM, David Mellor)

“…here is an unusual duet which turns out to be a great discovery… his [McChrystal’s] way of playing is transcendent, and from this mixture comes new harmonies and shimmering sonorities which make this recital not lunar, but solar.”
(Classqiue HD)

“From the mixed album ‘Solas’ which I would definitely recommend you investigate” (Classic FM, Rob Cowan)

“Definitely worth hearing … not only for the stunning musicianship, but also as a diversion within your music collection. Now I wish I could see more unexpected and pleasant surprises drop into my mailbox.” (Classic Music Sentinel)

“The music is glorious!… a beautiful display of the sopranino saxophone’s ability to adapt to baroque music…. Truly a remarkable performance and expression of the heart… These performances sound authentic and are a welcome addition to one’s listening library” (The Saxophonist Magazine)

“The presentation is solid. McChrystal and Wilson play with great skill and sensitivity; and when they take the colors and volumes of their instruments to extremes together, the result is stunning” (American Record Guide)