So the music resounds!
Our Composite Recital was be held on Saturday 13th February at 3.00pm at the Penge Congregational Church, 172 High Street, SE20 7QS, again kindly hosted by Marilyn Nicholson.
The church has a fabulous three manual organ 35-stop 3m/ped organ made by Lewis in 1915 and extensively restored in 1984 by the organ builder Brian Bunting who worked in close consultation with Robert Cooper who was the then organist – so our concert was in the month of the organ’s 100th anniversary. Organ details on this link:
Twelve members (shown in the photo above) of the Society played for an audience of over 30. Here is a photo of the performers and to get a feel for the whole concert click on the photo to hear a 3 minute resumé.
The concert ended with the provision of light refreshment around which there was a lot of group interaction.
The Society is very grateful to Marilyn Nicholson for hosting this event and also to the members of the congregation you attended as audience and helpers.
Programme, notes and links to recordings
Lorna started learning music at the age of 30 when she had a young family to care for. Each week she plays at Methodist Churches, including one in Balham. She is a keen student, formerly of Anne Marsden Thomas, and now with Marilyn Harper, and is working towards Grade 7. “Dialogues sur les Grands Jeux” (1.15 mins) is short and majestic written by Nicolas de Grigny (1672-1703).
Marilyn played two pieces by Bach (1685-1750) – the first chorale prelude in the Orgelbüchlein, “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland”, BWV 599 (1.45 mins), followed by the chorale “O wir armen Sünder”, BWV 407 (2.15 mins), a Passionslied, which, in spite of its first few words, is a hymn of praise to Christ for His work on the Cross on behalf of Poor Sinners, in seven verses, composed in the 16th century. Marilyn declares it to be simply glorious, especially the wonderful Kyrie which moves up and up and up in a most inspiring way.
Sarah is a free-lance organist from North London. She is also an accompanist for the London Transport Choir. Théodore Salomé ( 1834-1896) was born in Paris in 1834 and was one of a wave of 19th century French composers who flourished around that time because of the wonderful new organs being built by Cavaille-Coll. His music is lovely and well worth playing. Sarah played the “Grand Choeur in G major”, (3.30 mins) in A-B-A form. The outer sections are strong and lively, with a quiet fugal section in the middle.
Peter plays the piano and organ at two churches in Furzedown, south-west London. Peter is also Treasurer and Membership Secretary of SSLSO. Peter played a short piece by Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) “O my soul, rejoice with gladness”, (2.0 mins) one of the ‘Fourteen Chorale Improvisations’. He precedes this by playing the chorale on which it is based.
Nick’s main passions are participating in dance, especially amateur ballet and of course, playing the pipe organ! He played an Advent chorale prelude from the Orgelbüchlein entitled “Herr Christ, der ein’ge Gottes Sohn” BWV 601 (3.0 mins) by JS Bach (1685-1750). To precede it, he plays the chorale on which it is based.
Martin is Organist at St Paul’s Church, Tooting and played “Communion” ( 4.0 mins) by Théodore Dubois (1837-1924). It is from a collection of 10 Pieces originally written for the harmonium. It is reflective, full of delicacy and beauty. Martin is the SSLSO website designer.
William is a keen young musician with an enviable experience of singing in opera as a treble, working with several eminent conductors, and playing the oboe in orchestras at school. The organ is the most satisfying instrument of all those he plays. “Tu Es Petrus” (2.10 mins) by Jeanne Demessieux (1921-1968) is a short, loud piece based on the plainsong tone for St Peter’s Day. The tone appears in the pedal part, and the piece uses full organ.
By day Irene is a city tax expert, but don’t all queue up at once for advice! The organ is the instrument she has loved playing since her schooldays. She studies with Daniel Moult and has recently learned Bach’s mighty B minor Prelude and Fugue. She played the “Fugue in B minor” BWV 544 (6.0 mins).
Marilyn is keeping her musical New Year Resolution to learn all the Chorale Preludes by Buxtehude’s (1637-1707), and played a little known one, “Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott” (8.0 mins). It uses the Vater Unser, or the Our Father chorale. The chorale melody is heard in four statements, the first has a rippling accompaniment below the melodic line, the second has a more spikey second part added, the third features a coloratura (i.e. decorated) melodic line, and the fourth is similar to the second. Serious rather than light, the varied presentations show Buxtehude’s skill and imagination in presenting different shades of meaning.
Andrew played “Orpheus in the Realm of Death” (4.40 mins), an atmospheric piece that depicts a journey into a frightening and unknown world, Hades. Valeri Kikta (b. 1941) was born in the Ukraine (then part of USSR). He studied at Moscow Choral Conservatory earning a recommendation by Shostakovich along the way. The piece starts and finishes quietly, although there is a build-up in the middle.
David is a late starter on the organ having taken up the instrument in retirement. He is the Hon Examiner for the SSLSO and a trustee and council member of the RCO. He played the “Toccata in G” (9.30 mins) by Théodore Dubois (1837-1924) which was written in 1889 when he was the organist of the Parisian church of La Madeleine. It is a joyful piece with a quiet chorale-like middle section between two fast flowing typically French toccata movements.
Dr Harry Bramma
Harry is our most distinguished President, formerly Organist of Southwark Cathedral, and Director of the RSCM. He is a noted demonstrator of organs and encourager of the SSLSO. Harry played the most appropriate Bach chorale prelude for the Lent season “O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross” BWV622 (8.30 mins). It is characterized by its glorious melodic line, which is written in a similar style to that heard in the Buxtehude Prelude. Chromatic harmonies provide a subtle ending. He precedes the prelude with a performance of the chorale on which it is based.
Harry spoke about his feelings and admiration for JS Bach and this can be heard by clicking the link. The recording is a bit muffled as the microphone was aimed at the organ, but is worth listening to as all Harry’s thoughts are.
Notes complied by Nicky Jones from information provide by the performers.
Previous SSLSO composite recitals