Reviews

What the Reviewers, Critics & Presenters say

"A definite plus here is Nigel Potts’ performance of his transcription of Elgar’s orchestral setting at the Schoenstein organ…(which) helps illuminate Elgar’s rich harmonies to perfection, we feel that we haven’t missed anything by not having an orchestra.
Potts’ prowess is also on display in his transcription of The Prelude to Act I of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, which goes beyond the usual standards of organ transcription to actually sound better than most orchestral versions I’ve heard".
(CD: Wagner & Elgar)
Audio Club of Atlanta, January 2016

"Potts elicits a wide range of dynamics and detail from the organ. (His) transcriptions give a more operatic resonance to the songs and are remarkably successful in capturing the colors and nuances of the orchestral versions of the Wesendonck Lieder and of Elgar’s (Sea Pictures) vocal settings. Not only is the album interesting for its repertoire tastefully and compellingly performed, but it makes yet another case for understanding the far-reaching influence of Richard Wagner’s 'Music of the Future' on not only the late nineteenth century but on subsequent generations. Recommended!"
(CD: Wagner & Elgar)
Fanfare, 2015

"Nigel Potts is a remarkable organist who lets his instrument breathe…very skillful registration, attention to the original textures and colours, and very deft fingering and footwork.
Prelude to Act I fromTristan und Isolde…beautifully transcribed and performed. The organist is a master of the gradual buildup of volume and tension and then the release and build up again".

(CD: Wagner & Elgar)
Music & Vision, Sydney, 2015

"Potts’ transcription for organ of the ever-popular Liebesträume No. 3 by Franz Liszt...worked nicely as Potts carefully changed tone colours throughout, turning the composition into the aural equivalent of looking through a kaleidoscope. The two performers showed off remarkable technique and guts in coming up with such a programme. It was a great way to get a new perspective on well-worn music."
(Concert review of Rachmaninov PIano Concerto No.2 duo with Jeremy Filsell, for Toronto's Organix '12 Festival)
MusicalToronto.org, 2012

"Nigel Potts is a consummate musician who knows how to communicate the essence of this music."
"Instrument, music, and performer combine to create musical magnificence not to be missed."

(CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
The American Organist, 2009

"…a young New Zealand organist whose credentials merit respect and whose interpretive talent is obvious…the gradual decay (in ‘Nimrod’) is superb…an excellent recording." (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
American Record Guide, 2009

“Howells’s first Rhapsody is given a fine interpretation…as is the performance of Percy Whitlock’s first Fantasie-Choral…perfectly judged and balanced. (Bowen’s) Fantasia…superbly played here.
A strongly recommended CD”
(CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
International Record Review, UK, 2009

“Potts' playing is assured and stylish...” (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
Organists' Review, UK, 2009

“…this is one to go out and buy.” (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
Friends of Cathedral Music, UK, 2009

“…warm, sympathetic playing from Potts. His account of Whitlock’s first Fantasie-Choral is especially fine…”
Rated **** (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
Choir & Organ, UK, 2009

“Nigel uses its (the large Schoenstein at St. Paul’s Parish in Washington) extensive resources with imagination and taste. He has an intuitive grasp of the grand British style, and one can sense his love for this music in his secure technique and in his idiomatic phrasing and expression.” (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, USA, 2009

“…one of the best, most subtle readings of ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar’s Enigma Variations I’ve ever heard. He handles the Schoenstein organ with an admirable blend of authority and aplomb, buttressed by a broad command of tonal color…” (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
The New Mexican, USA, 2009

“Nigel Potts exploits its (the Schoenstein organ) potential and masters its tricks with aplomb. The playing is first-rate throughout, with wonderfully assured technique, and a sense of expression which never cloys – neither in the playing itself, registrations, nor the use of the organ’s astoundingly effective Swell boxes. Sheer pleasure for every possible reason, and thoroughly recommended.” (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
The Sydney Organ Journal, Australia, 2009

“Nigel Potts has a gift for extracting melody and highlighting the phrase. His use of the expression pedals should be de-rigueur in any organ academy dealing with romantic performance, and his exactitude in exploiting the vast palette of the tonal colour available is commendable. The playing is simply gorgeous.” (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
Organ News, New Zealand, 2009

“It is a big, muscular virtuoso piece making demands on the player all of which Potts overcomes with aplomb…this issue is most highly recommended.” (CD: British Fantasies & Fanfares)
Audiophile Audition, 2009

“This is an exciting recording…it is a powerful collection of music by Masonic composers played on a great Scottish Rite (E.M. Skinner) instrument.” (CD: So Mote It Be!)
Scottish Rite Journal, USA, 2004

“Nigel’s recording is simply an aural delight (which includes) his brilliant transcription of the first movement of the Mozart Jupiter Symphony. He mixes the virtuosic with the understated (and his) playing shows not only technical control, but also a sincere dedication to the idiom and to the colors of the instrument.” (CD: So Mote It Be!)
The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, USA, 2004

“Nigel’s registrations are extremely orchestral and the playing is first class. Two of the works have been very successfully transcribed by Nigel.” (CD: So Mote It Be!)
The Sydney Organ Journal, Australia, 2004

“…the Duruflé Scherzo played so lovingly.” (CD: Around the World in 80 Minutes)
The American Organist, 2000

“…clearly inspires the richly talented Nigel Potts to great heights of achievement in his compellingly splendid playing... I have enjoyed this disc very much; it is richly rewarding”. (CD: Around the World in 80 Minutes)
Organists’ Review, UK, 2000

“The playing is excellent throughout as are the choices of registrations. We hear sweeping crescendi, diminuendi and complex, juxtaposed, orchestrally inspired registrations. A very enjoyable CD.” (CD: Around the World in 80 Minutes)
The Sydney Organ Journal, Australia, 2000

“It immediately showed Mr. Potts’ amazing ability to learn so many of the intricacies of this complex instrument. His use of registration and expression was a hallmark of his entire performance… Played (Sonata No.1 by Alexandre Guilmant) with fire, accuracy and brilliance, the whole audience rose at its conclusion to give Nigel Potts a standing ovation. We all know that he is on the way to an extraordinary career.”
Glens Falls Post Star, NY, 2001

What the Concert Presenters say...

"We were thrilled with Nigel and Sarah. The way they worked together was seamless and the balance was perfect. Nigel’s registrations were exquisite and his technique is dazzling. The choice of Elgar’s Sea Pictures was brilliant -it is rarely heard. Sarah did a beautiful job of interpreting the piece, Nigel’s transcription captured all the colors in the orchestra in a breath taking way. The audience loved the enchanting evening these two wonderful musicians brought to us.”
Margaret Lacy, Artistic Director of Friends of Aeolian-Skinner Op. 1024, St. Andrew's Church, Amarillo, TX, 2014

"With mellifluous tone and colorful vocal palette, Sarah Rose Taylor deftly painted Elgar's Sea Pictures upon the imagination of her delighted audience. Her interpretation of the Wagner Wesendonck Lieder was similarly compelling. Further, if one closed one's eyes, it was not a single instrument but a full symphony orchestra that supported Taylor's performance; Mr. Potts is not only a fine accompanist but also a master of transcription!"
Krista Mays, Artistic Director, Mary McDonald Music Series, Fort Smith, AR, 2014

"There are a handful of people I’m always very glad to listen to, and you’re certainly one of them! You handled the instrument with such ease and grace, and your repertoire was well balanced and quite suited to the Mander. We eagerly anticipate your return."
Scott Warren, Presenter, Saint Ignatius Loyola Church, New York City, NY, 2013

"His recital on Sunday evening was stellar. The choices of repertoire were spot on and his use of the instrument was perfection. His artistry, technique and sensitivity to the music, instrument and space were just right. Every moment was beautifully executed. Folks here are still talking about it!"
Casey Cantwell, Presenter, Trinity Episcopal Church,Tulsa, OK, 2011

"His performance was stellar and his musicianship shown handsomely through his use of the organ. Nigel played with color, sensitivity, and imagination and truly utilized the tonal spectrum that is available on this large instrument (Navel Academy Chapel). I hope to have him play here again in the future. Nigel was such a gentleman and a delight to host."
Prof. Monte Maxwell, Presenter, Director of Chapel Music, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis MD, 2010

"Wonderful performance on Sunday. Nigel is really a terrific performer and a great guy. There was virtually universal acclaim from the audience after his performance for delivering renditions of pieces speaking to the beauty of music melded with the unique qualities of the instrument and touching people's souls with chords of familiar tunes."
Jon J. Danzak, Presenter, Director, Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh, PA, 2010

"Nigel Potts was successful in evoking the grand style of the English cathedral organ, despite the challenges inherent in playing his concert on a small North German tracker instrument. His lyricism and feel for the repertoire was evident throughout his concert, and Nigel performed a splendid concert. Personally, I found Nigel to be down-to-earth and a perfect gentleman, and I happily anticipate seeing him again in the future."
Prof. Paul Dixon, Presenter, St. Petersburg College, St. Petesrburg, FL, 2010

“Nigel Potts has a marked affinity for organ performance in the Romantic and orchestrally-inspired idiom. His Delius (‘The Walk to the Paradise Garden’ transcribed by Nigel Potts) performance gave us a very fine example of orchestrally-inspired shading and coloration…very difficult to do successfully on the organ, but highly satisfying in both the refinement of the transcription score and in his realization.”
Professor Thomas Murray, Presenter, Yale University, CT, 2001

“An extremely impressive performance given by a gifted musician….the organ (Woolsey Hall, Yale University) was used in the most colorful way possible.”
Professor Martin Jean, Presenter, Yale University, CT, 2001

“(A) superb recital here at St Paul's… I thoroughly enjoyed the evening: the amazingly varied palette of colours (he) managed to find on the organ was breathtaking. It was a real treat to hear the (Elgar) Sonata played so sensitively and in its entirety and I loved (the) performance of Nimrod, complete with final diminuendo a niente - I couldn't have indicated where the chord actually ended…”
Dr. Giles Brightwell, Presenter, St. Paul’s Parish, K Street, Washington DC, 2007

“It was an absolutely splendid program in every way and from beginning to end...(he is) a real ambassador for the organ and for Whitlock!”
Bruce Neswick, Presenter, Canon Musician, Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, GA,2003

“Nigel’s ability to prepare and perform significantly complex music in a very short time while retaining a commendably relaxed demeanour was nothing short of amazing. (Nigel) won widespread admiration and praise for his performance...Not only was Nigel’s ability as a player outstanding, but his mastery of a new instrument in a very short time frame without losing his sense of humour was a revelation.”
Peter Stockwell, Presenter, Dunedin Town Hall, New Zealand, 1999

“Such energy and fire that organ has not seen in some time. The artistry and phrasing, ingenious registrations all come together in both sensitive and exuberant musicianship yielding a wonderful program.”
Thomas White, AGO Presenter, East Hampton, NY, 2004

"The superb playing and accompanying on Sunday were highlights for me - his reputation is richly deserved."
Richard Webster, Hymn Festival Guest Conductor, 2005

“The playing was beautiful - what a wonderful survey of the organ works of Percy Whitlock and of the treasures of our organ.”
Susan Matthews, Presenter, Principal Organist, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA, 2003

“…we heard more from the instrument than I can recall ever hearing from a visiting recitalist. His use of the instrument for the sake of good musicianship was exemplary! … he projects the music instead of himself … This guy is a ‘sleeper’ in our midst.”
Dr. Karl E. Moyer, Presenter, Grace Lutheran Church, Lancaster, PA, 2001

“This was a really FUN recital - Nigel played the 1922 Austin very idiomatically - lots of color. I would very happily recommend Nigel Potts to any of you looking for a recitalist. He is a fine player and a charming person.”
John M. Marks, Presenter, Grace & St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD, 1999