The Oratory’s annual Organ Recital Series continues this October. Some of the UK’s finest players present varied and eclectic programmes, delivered on the famous J. W. Walker instrument designed by the legendary former Organist of the Oratory, Ralph Downes, and now listed Grade 1 in the Institute of British Organ Studies register of organs of historical importance.
Simon Johnson (St Paul’s Cathedral) opens the series by commemorating the centenary of Sir C. H. H. Parry’s death with the Fantasia and Fugue in G minor. After presenting a range of chorale preludes by Bach and more modern composers (including one by the recitalist), Simon will conclude with the chromatically intriguing Symphonie No. 3 by Louis Vierne. Fans of French Romantic organ music won’t want to miss Gerard Brooks’ (Westminster Central Hall) recital, which includes Franck’s expansive Choral No. 1 as well as the charming Suite Carmelite of Jean Francaix and the colourful Five Invocations by Henri Dallier. Meanwhile, Roger Sayer (Temple Church) will survey some of the finest 19th century organ music Germany has to offer, including the complex Fugue in Ab minor by Brahms, the joyous Dankpsalm by Reger, and the monumental Sonata on the 94th Psalm by Reubke. Patrick Russill (London Oratory) treats us to a range of music by Muffat, Guilain, Fischer and Tournemire. In addition, Patrick explores the symphonic nature of the dramatic Trauerode from late in Liszt’s life, and complements this with the grand solemnity of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C minor (BWV 546). Ben Bloor (London Oratory) will provide a recital of contrasts, pitting early music against more modern fare. Two Toccatas by Buxtehude and Bach bookend a programme full of variation from composers such as Byrd, De Grigny, Messiaen and Langlais.
The recitals take place at 7.30 on Monday evenings throughout October. Admission is free with a retiring collection and all are welcome.