Thursday 19th August 2010
Francis Jackson: Organist Emeritus, York Minster
- Prelude in C and Scherzo. Edward Bairstow (1874-1946)
- Prelude & Fugue in B minor (BWV 544). JS Bach (1685-1750)
- Choral Dorien. Jehan Alain (1911-1940)
- Partita, Op.19. William Mathias (1934-1992)
i) Maestoso: Allegro non troppo
ii) Lento alla marcia
iii) Allegro, ma non troppo
- Prelude on 'Repton', Op.150/2 and Scherzo amabile, Op.92. Francis Jackson (b.1917)
- Tuba Tune. Norman Cocker (1889-1953)
Price: Free (retiring collection)
Attendance: Around 100
Star Rating: 4/5 ****
A very enjoyable recital was given here by the well known organist and composer Dr Francis Jackson CBE. Dr Jackson, an adorable character of 92, delivered what was a very varied programme of music, which had 'something for everybody'. Appropriately, Francis began with the Bairstow prelude, which stretched the resources of this rather large organ to their limits. It was evident, from the very nicely placed screen with a live view of the console upon it, that this piece was very dear to Francis. Following that was the very melodic Scherzo, also by Sir Bairstow. The Bach that followed is one of the 'classics', and was executed with great accuracy.
A piece played with which I was not too familiar was the Mathias Partita. This certainly sounded hard to play, but as usual, Francis did not disappoint. It was quite lengthy, causing the recital to run over a bit (not ideal for those on lunch breaks, and a small handful dressed relatively smartly had to leave after this) but nevertheless it was enjoyable to hear. The piece on the hymn tune Repton, which we all know most frequently as being set to 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind', was a most reflective and stirring piece by Jackson himself. The recital ended with the very well known Cocker Tuba Tune. This is a piece Francis is very well associated with, following his landmark recordings of this using the Tuba Mirabilis during his time at York Minster. Whilst the organ at Central Methodist in York does not have a Tuba stop, the choir Tromba ranks certainly managed to pull it off well. Francis Jackson was on top form for this recital, and he spoke both with amusement and interest, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.