Tuesday 21st August 2010
Colin Walsh: Organist Laureate of Lincoln Cathedral
- Trois Improvisations. Trans. Maurice Durufle. Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
1) Marche episcopale
- Elegiac Prelude. George Bennett (1863-1930)
- Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 548, "the Wedge". JS Bach (1685-1750)
- Allegro Vivace (from Symphony 5, Op.42 No.1). Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
- Cortege et Litanie. Marcel Dupre (1886-1971)
- Prelude et Fugue sur le non d'Alain. Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
Attendance: Around 50
Star Rating: 7/10
This was another recital in the 2010 Ripon Cathedral recital series given by an organist of world class repute. Many of the pieces it contained were familiar to all, and I pay particular attention to Colin's effortless playing of the Bach "Wedge", for which he did intense justice. He brought out the finest voices of this particularly English sounding organ, by Harrison and Harrison, to give a deeply authentic and equally thrilling performance of this great Bach work, a favourite of many. One of my own favourites was the Widor Allegro Vivace from symphony 5, which I felt was delivered as arrestingly as in York Minster a week or so ago. The density of the piece, and the magnificent thundering out of the particularly brilliant parts of this opening movement, gave a superb effect in to the considerable, if not surprisingly generous, acoustic at Ripon Cathedral.
A different piece of significance, although similarly French in character, was the Durufle Prelude and Fugue. This was written as a tribute by Durufle to the great French organist Jehan Alain, who was killed in France during the 1940 German invasion. A distinctive theme builds up throughout, with recapitulations of Alain's most popular work, Litanies, appearing towards the end of the Fugue. The Prelude has a slightly different feel to me, and as it increases in depth and intensity, it reaches a particularly gripping conclusion, with two massive D major chords.
An encore was very well received at the end, and this was the Elgar 'Imperial March'. This piece allowed us to hear the Ripon Tuba, and moreover, left us all feeling really rather patriotic! The inclusion of this final item rounded this recital off well, bringing the Ripon summer organ recital series to a fitting close.