Fine organ centrepiece of series

The Father Willis organ. Picture by Ash Mills

The Father Willis organ. Picture by Ash Mills

First published in Entertainments
Last updated

SALISBURY Cathedral has revealed details of its Organ Recital Series for 2014.

The series presents an exciting programme of concerts once a month from March to October on Wednesday evenings on the Cathedral’s renowned Father Willis organ.

John Challenger, the cathedral’s assistant director of music, said: “We possess of one of the country’s finest and most versatile cathedral organs and it’s always exciting to hear how different people make it sound.

“There’s a feast of performers and music and I hope that many will come along and enjoy it.”

The series opens on March 26 with a recital for Edington Music Festival Association given by Challenger.

Salisbury Cathedral has long had a link with this week-long musical and liturgical event held each August in the Priory Church of Edington in the Diocese of Salisbury.

This recital features works by composers associated with the Festival - including Francis Jackson and Simon Preston - as well as more traditional repertoire - and there will be a retiring collection in aid of the association.

On April 30, David Halls performs. His programme opens with Charpentier’s famous Prelude to the ‘Te Deum’, and concludes with his own composition Sound the Trumpet. He includes some lighter works as well as Bach’s sublime Prelude and Fugue in B minor (BWV 544) and Rheinberger’s Sixth Sonata.

The Alcock Recital is on May 21 when Roy Massey, Organist Emeritus of Hereford Cathedral, presents a varied programme including works by Guilmant, Handel, Franck, Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor (BWV 548), ‘The Wedge’ and Sir Walter Alcock’s Introduction and Passacaglia.

The Jenkinson Recital will be given by Edward Reeve on June 18. His programme opens with a Wagner transcription: the Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg followed by works by Alain, Bach and Elgar.

On 23 July the cathedral welcomes Richard McVeigh with a programme based on the Passacaglia, a compositional form used for centuries by organist-composers which takes a single theme and expands on it through the course of a piece of music.

Timothy Ravalde returns to Salisbury on August 13, with Bach’s Passacaglia (BWV 582) and concluding with Vierne’s virtuosic Third Symphony.

On September 10, Roger Judd’s programme opens with Herbert Brewer’s Marche Heroique and includes Healey Willan’s gothic Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue plus works by Bach and Schumann. His recital concludes with Reubke’s turbulent Sonata on the 94th Psalm.

And on October 8 the Emery Recital will be given by international organ recitalist Colin Andrews.

Andrews’ programme is a Triptych: A Tale of Three Cities: London, Leipzig & Paris.

All concerts begin at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced at £8, are available online from February 14 onwards at salisburycathedral.org.uk and on the door.

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