Tom Winpenny: Williamson, Organ Music


If often helps to understand a composer: an on-line obituary to Williamson compared him to fellow Oz ex-pats Barry Humphries, Germaine Greer and Clive James, leaving a “culturally deadening” Australia. The obit noted: “It is possible that some of his headline-making indiscretions at the expense of the fashionable would have remained private if he’d been a lifelong teetotaller,” which is splendidly diplomatic.

CD1 Peace Pieces, is the more challenging, as there are six pieces, and each bitty, so it’s a discontinuous feel. We’re guessing the pieces are technically challenging. They are varied, to say the least: Peace In Childhood has a vaguely nursery rhyme repetition in its build-up; Peace In Solitude is not a very relaxing piece, possibly the lonely brain being jumbled with ideas; Peace In America has an unsettling section in the middle reflecting Vietnam.

The second disc is more approachable in places, opening with the dramatic Résurgence du Feu. Epitaphs for Edith Sitwell are slightly unsettling, in places a deep bass note swimming through like Jaws. Little Carols of the Saints on the other hand is rather delicate and beautiful, as is Fantasy On This Is My Father’s World. This was recorded at St John the Evangelist, London. A challenging listen.

Out on Naxos, 8571375-76.

Go to your local indie record store or click below to buy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



%d bloggers like this: