On Saturday 29 October Stephen Moore gave a super organ recital on the newly restored Willis organ. He had played it during its 130 birthday organ festival before it was fully restored (in September 2012) and was very pleased to be invited to play it again.
Until recently Stephen was based in Northampton at St Matthews Church, however in September he took up his new job as Musical Director at Llandaff Cathedral in Wales. Fortunately this recital was timed for the end of half term week when the Cathedral choir was on holiday, so he did not have to rush back to Wales immediately afterwards for the Sunday services.
The family organ recital series at SMSG are short, hour long concerts of music - Stephen didn't want an interval for a shorter programme so we had refreshments and chatting afterwards which worked well. He also provided very informative introductions to each piece of music because for several people in the audience some of the pieces were completely new. The programme he chose included music which showed off the quieter stops on the organ as well as its rich full sounds and Stephen played all of it brilliantly.
- Intrada - Grayston Ives b. 1948
- Prière, Op. 37 No.3 - Joseph Jongen 1873-1953
- Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 - J S Bach 1685-1750
- Rhapsody in D-flat major, Op.17 No.1 - Herbert Howells 1893-1982
- Miniature Suite - John Ireland 1879-1962
- Introduction and Passacaglia -Walter Alcock 1861-1947
Comments received afterwards included:
"Interesting and informative introduction, stunning music, glorious sound."
"I liked the sound of the organ, ranging from the soft strings and delicate flute to the majestic full organ. I also appreciated the illuminating remarks introducing each piece, especially sounds to listen out for."
"I liked the length of the programme, the variety of the music and the very knowledgeable introductions to each of the pieces."
Janet, Trisha, Sue, Dai and Jeff did a great job of running refreshments, welcoming people and turning chairs and David did all the page turning for Stephen. It was a lovely concert - thank you Stephen.
Words and photos by Anna Page