Classical Break - Organ #1
Hello and welcome to Classical Break. You're listening to Somer Valley FM and I'm Rupert Kirkham.
|John Philip Sousa|
John Philip sousa - the liberty bell
I know! If you're old, you'll remember this as the theme tune to the Monty Python's Flying Circus tv show in the 70's - yes it was that long ago...; if not, thanks for listening and stay with us!
That performance of John Philip Sousa's The Liberty Bell, arranged for organ by Martin Setchell, was given by Christopher Cipkin, a senior librarian from the University of Birmingham, who is also a freelance organist playing the Christchurch organ in Frome. He was one of 3 organ rectalists at this year's Frome festival, the other two playing at St. John the Baptist in the centre of town.
I managed to record two of these recitals in full - and we'll be hearing music from them both later on.
We'll also have more twentieth century organ and choral music from Oxford by Herbert Howells and there's news of a free organ recital in Bath Abbey next Wednesday.
First, let's kick off with a rousing performance of a piece by Marcel Dupre played by John Scott on the organ of St.Paul's Cathedral, London.
|Interior of Marcel Dupre's house|
It's one of his three Prelude and Fugues, which some say are Dupre's finest contributions to the organ repertory. It's written in B Major - a defiant, soul-stirring work, which would make anybody's neck-hairs stand on end - especially, I suspect, the organist's!
|Dupre at the organ of St. Sulphice|
Dupre - prelude and fugue in B major
Prelude and Fugue in B Major, by Marcel Dupre, played on the organ of St Pauls in London by John Scott.
Back to the recitals given at the Frome Festival. We heard one at the start of the programme recorded in Christchurch, well this next one was recorded at St John's church, in the centre of town.
It's a nice little organ, requiring some attention, apparently - sounded alright to me - so the recital was an opportunity to donate to the organ fund.
The organist, Brian Martin, has been involved in the restoration of instrument over the last few years; he lives near Westbury where he moved to from North London a few years ago.
George Thalben-Ball's Elegy, played during the Frome festival at St John the Baptist church by Brian Martin. We'll hear more from this local organist later in the programme.
Next up, a piece by Herbert Howells. He once said "The most persistent, level, satisfying and effective things in the history of our music have often centred around our organ lofts and church musicians."
|New College Chapel|
|New College Chapel from the organ loft|
|New College Chapel organ, Oxford|
Howells - new college, magnificat
The Choir of New College, Oxford, recorded back in 1987 under its director and organist, Dr Edward Higginbottom, singing the Magnificat from his 'New College' service.
From Oxford back down to Frome now, for the second piece of our Frome festival recital by Christopher Cipkin at Christchurch.
|Charles Villiers Stanford|
The Eroica Sonata for organ was dedicated to another famous organist and composer, 'Charles Marie Widor - and the great country to which he belongs'. The piece (and I'm quoting from Christopher's programme notes here)'weaves fantasy and toccatta writing around his sonata-form development of the patriotic Marseillaise theme - the French National anthem and the battle song of the French Revolution.
Stanford-Verdun from eroica sonata
That was first performed under the baton of Stanford himself in a concert dedicated to his countrymen, the Irish Guards, in 1918. Christopher Cipkin on the organ of Christchurch, Frome during the 2015 Frome Festival.
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Next, Brian Martin plays the Triumphal March from Caractacus,by Edward Elgar, arranged for organ by Bryan Hesford. The theme is the heroic resistance to the Roman invasion of Britain by Caratacus and his subsequent arragnment in Rome.
The Triumphal March from Caratacus, by Edward Elgar played by Brian Martin on the organ of St. John's Church, Frome.
Elgar - triumphal march of caractacus
The triumphal march of Caractacus , by Edward Elgar.
Next, from Christchurch again, Christopher Cipkin plays some Purcell - it's the only non-20th century music in this programme, but we mustn't lose sight of the fact that the organ has been around with us - and in particular in our religious and political lives for a very long time.
After the chaos and austerity that followed the English Civil war, the monarchy was eventually restored and Henry Purcell was part of a new generation of composers who reflected the often flambouyant confidence of the new regime. In 1689, he succeeded John Blow as organist of Westminster Abbey and three years later, was appointed organist of the Chapel Royal as well.
Purcell - trumpet tune from king arthur
The Trumpet tune from Purcell's opera, King Arthur, played by Christopher Cipkin on the organ of Christchurch, Frome.
Thanks to Brian Martin and Christopher Cipkin for allowing me to record those recitals at the Frome festival and use them on this programme.
Coming up, news of an organ recital happening next week in Bath, but first, here's another piece by Herbert Howells, called Jacob's Brawl. It's a transcript by Edward Higginbottom from an original score for the Clavichord.
Jacob's Brawl, by Herbert Howells.
Next Wednesday, July 22nd, there's another organ rectal, not in Frome this time but on the Klais organ at Bath Abbey.
It's being given by Richard Dunster-Sigtermans, no stranger to Bath, as he told me when I spoke to him on the phone earlier this week
Richard Dunster-Sigtermans interview
Richard Dunster-Sigtermans who will be performing at Bath Abbey next Wednesday at 1.10 pm till 2 - a lunchtime concert and it's free, so if you're intown that day or you facny a trip over to Bath, it'll be well worth it. So that's Bath Abbey at ten past one, on Wednesday, July 22nd. Apologies if you're listening to a repeat of this programme and you've missed it!
|Bah Abbey - Klais organ|
I hope you enjoyed this week's organ special - Classical Break will be back next weekend. I'm Rupert Kirkham. Goobye.