I totally blame Gerard Brooks and Fugue State Films for the fact that I nearly missed a writing deadline last week. I’d been sent a copy of Fugue State’s most recent box set of CDs and DVDs, on Widor and his music. Fugue State always get high praise for their production values, and the recording quality on the opening CD, with Gerard playing Widor’s Symphonie No 6 on the organ
Another of those organists who rose to fame and fortune in their lifetimes, but have since been virtually forgotten, Edwin Lemare will be remembered this weekend in his birthplace, Ventnor, on the Isle of Wight. Frederick Hohman, Lemare specialist, will come over from the States for a lecture and concert at Holy Trinity Church, Ventnor, to mark the 150th anniversary of Lemare’s birth – full details below. Lemare is mainly
Great importance is attached to the fact that both Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams played regularly on the Thaxted Lincoln organ, and this was one of the selling points for its recent restoration. All very worthy of course, but the organ’s significance for me is that it was originally the instrument of Theophania Cecil, in the early 19th century, when it was installed at St John’s Chapel, Bedford Row,
Anne Page tells me she has gone out and bought a new pair of Organmaster shoes in order to do full justice to the Introduction and variations on ‘God preserve the Emperor’ by E T Chipp, which she will play this Saturday as the finale to her Bloomsbury recital. Dr Chipp (1823-1886) is another of those splendid organists who have been almost totally forgotten, but in their day cut quite
Here’s some entertaining reading for your next coffee break – the schedules of music for both the improvisation and interpretation competitions at the next St Alban’s Organ Festival, just launched. Application deadline 16 March 2015, so you’ve got a bit of time to think it over. Improvisation St Albans IOF Interpretation St Albans IOF More information from the competition website. NB I’ve noticed the Improvisation pdf doesn’t always read properly
Continuing my Newcastle theme this week, may I recommend to you the music of Charles Avison? One of the pleasures of attending organ recitals is that of shamelessly appropriating other people’s repertoire. Hilary Norris recently included a concerto by Avison in her recital at St Mary’s Northchurch, and I immediately went online and ordered the music. Avison’s charming organ concertos make ideal programme fillers – although in several movements, these
Before I get too full of self-importance, I need to confess that having a piece of organ music written specially for me was most undeserving – I simply won a competition on Twitter. Composer Thomas Morgan celebrated getting to 300 Twitter followers last year by offering to write something for a lucky follower, and I got in first. It’s still rather good, though, to have the privilege of giving the
My good friend organist Terence Atkins gave a recital yesterday which included no fewer than four pieces by William Lloyd Webber. Terence has long expressed his enthusiasm for Lloyd Webber’s music – as he says ‘William Lloyd Webber was a household name amongst organists in the late 40s and 50s, and there’s a vast amount of his music waiting to be discovered.’ Much of his organ music is not particularly
My friend Jenny has been championing John Ebenezer West (1863-1929) and the virtues of his Passacaglia in B minor for about a year, and she’s delighted that it has now been published by Fitzjohn Music Publications, under the editorship of David Patrick. It was written in memory of Josef Rheinberger, and described in a recent review as ‘a sort of village organist’s moment of wishful thinking’ – nothing like as
Frederick Stocken will give the world premiere of his new piece Faith, Love, Hope during a recital at St Lawrence Jewry, next to Guildhall in the City of London, on Tuesday 11 February at 1pm. He says the inspiration to write a piece about Faith came as a response to the Catholic Church’s ‘Year of Faith’ from 2012 to 2013. “The music that became Faith is an exultant toccata-like piece
If you’ve only experienced Stanford’s settings of the Canticles with organ accompaniment, can I heartily recommend this CD? New editions of the orchestral scores to Stanford’s four settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis have been created by Robert King, for performance by the King’s Consort, and they provide a whole new dimension to this music, so familiar to anyone brought up in the Anglican tradition: showcasing Stanford’s deftness with
Pedal duets, music for pedals and percussion, insanely difficult variations and assorted pedal workouts – I’ve just published a follow-up to my popular first page of pedals-only repertoire. You can find it here.
I have been delighted at the global correspondence that has hit my inbox and Twitter feed since my first post on my great-grand-uncle, composer and organist Carl Hemann. At least two people have made the effort to tell me about their strong childhood memories of his music. Below, therefore, is another FREE download, this time of arguably his most famous piece, the British Cavalry, Grand March-Galop de Concert for pianoforte.
Adrian Brockless recently contacted me to say he was trying to get this little piece of his father’s better known. Much of Brian Brockless’ organ music is pretty challenging, but the Toccatina upon Tallis’ 9th tune is straightforward both to play, and listen to. Tallis’ Ninth Tune (hymn tune TALLIS ORDINAL) is used in rather clever canon, with a sparkling accompaniment – a good wedding piece, or recital encore, perhaps.