A small but very appreciative audience of 16 people enjoyed Laurence Caldecote's September organ recital in St Mary & St Giles Church this evening.  One person travelled from Kettering having seen the Concert listed on www. organrecitals.com, so I'm glad David S took the time to list it on that website.

During the afternoon Dave K and I turned nave chairs around to face the organ and Laurence arrived to practice. It was his first encounter with our Willis organ but he soon got the measure of its foibles, including the pistons that 'speak' odd notes when they are used. He decided as a result of this particular issue that he would hand register all his stop combinations rather than rely on the pistons to bring groups of stops into play.

This September is proving quite chilly, and by the end of the practice Laurence's hands were cold (a cup of tea helped).  Later Tim Campain (also an organist) joined him to turn pages and pull stop knobs.  When I returned to the church to help Fiona set out the refreshments I was greeted by the sound of his playing.

His programme was as follows:

  • Trumpet Tune in F (Laurence Caldecote, b. 1983)
  • Voluntary in C Minor: Largo, Allegro (Maurice Greene, 1696-1755)
  • 1st Movement from Concerto in A minor, BWV593 (JS Bach, 1685-1750)
  • Choral Song and Fugue (SS Wesley, 1810-1876)
  • Miniature Suite: Intrada, Villanella, Menueto Impromptu (John Ireland, 1879-1962)
  • Chelsea Fayre (Reginald Goss-Custard, 1877-1956)
  • Prelude in E flat (William Harris, 1883-1973)
  • Marche Americaine (Charles Marie Widor, 1844-1937)
  • An Interlude from The Hovingham Sketches (Harold Darke, 1888-1976)
  • Toccata in D minor (Gordon Balch Nevin, 1892-1943)

We served refreshments at the end (there was no interval), and several people said to me how they had enjoyed the choice of music and registration, as it had really brought out colours in the organ sound they had not realised our Willis possesses (Laurence liked the Corno di Basseto on the choir and used this to great effect in combination and contrast with other stops).

The fund-raising result from this recital was very encouraging despite the low attendance, as most of the money donated was gift aided.  We made £186 before the gift aid we will claim back from the tax-man is taken into account, so the profit from this concert should result in a total £235 for the organ fund.

I would like to thank Laurence and Tim for travelling from the Midlands to Stony Stratford for this event (we hope to welcome you back to our church in the future), and to all the organ fund committee members  and friends (particularly Dave K, David S, Andrew, Lesley and Fiona) who helped to make it such a success.