Jem plays the Willis organ

Jem plays the Willis organ

Jem Lowther gave a wonderful Sunday afternoon organ concert on 29th May to a small but very appreciative and enthusiastic audience.

Jem is the new Musical Director at All Saints, Northampton and he introduced each piece with interesting information about why he had chosen it or its place in musical history.

The programme:

  • Nicolaus Bruhns (1665 - 1697) Praeludium in G Major
  • Louis Marchand (1669 - 1732) Premier Livre d’Orgue (Recit de Chromorne and Tierce en Taille)
  • Francisco Peraza (1564 - 1598) Medio registro alto de Primer Tono
  • Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847) Organ Sonata no. 3 (Con moto maestoso and Andante Tranquillo)
  • César Franck (1822 - 1890) Prélude, Fugue et Variation
  • Louis Vierne (1870 - 1937) Carillon de Westminster
Jem introduces a piece

Jem introduces a piece

Jem even encapsulated a story about Father Willis and Louis Vierne in the programme when he explained that Willis had challenged Louis Vierne to improvise on the tune of the Bells at Westminster Cathedral in a recital there and hadn't realised that Vierne was blind so could not read the tune Henry had written on paper, so Willis had to sing it to him, then Vierne improvised.

The improvisation was so successful and popular Vierne wrote it down.

David turns pages for Jem

David turns pages for Jem

After Jem's recital we had tea and cake with a lot of discussion about music and the choirs at All Saints Northampton.  We hope to welcome Jem back to St Mary & St Giles Church in the future for more music.

Comments from audience included:

"Simply fabulous"

"He showed off the organ to its best advantage"

"Jem introduced it beautifully"

We raised £52 for the organ fund at the recital.  I would like to thank everyone who helped with this concert, those who attended to hear the music and Jem for playing the Willis organ and showing off its tonal range and volumes so well.

Jem explains about the music

Jem explains about the music

Jem and David at the Willis organ

Jem and David at the Willis organ

Jem plays the Willis organ

Jem plays the Willis organ