Review of Annual Organ Celebration at Holy Trinity Gosport: Charles Francis

Today’s concert was billed as our Annual Organ Celebration and, thanks to Charles Francis, that is precisely what it was! We loved his music programme – after 18 months of silence I for one could feel my brain coming alive again!

It is hard to claim favourites in a programme as varied and rich as this one, but I certainly delighted in the Widor, so deliciously varied, which opened the concert; Mendelssohn (in particular the 1st movement, Allegro Maestoso), where I understand there was a ‘Battle of the Stops’ between the Jordan and Hill organ stops – for me it was simply full of drama and movement; then the final piece from Liszt with its virtuosic fire, creating a powerful finale.

We loved the programme, but we also loved listening to and watching Charles play; he is clearly a hugely talented musician, coupled with his great commitment to music – and a ferocious memory! He played at least three pieces without sheet music: so many notes to memorise! We thanked Charles for his performance today and wish him great success going forward in a musical career that is bound to be successful.

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