Preview: The twentieth remarkable year of Lunchtime Organ Recitals by Mark Dancer

This year sees the twentieth series of summer organ recitals given by Mark Dancer at St Peter’s. It promises to be as interesting and eclectic as usual, although unusually, there are no composers of organ music with a significant anniversary this year who can be featured – except for that love him or loathe him figure from nineteenth-century French music Louis- James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély! His 150th anniversary of death is this year.

Most people who have ever been to a carol service are likely to have heard John Joubert’s carols ‘Torches’ and/or ‘There is no rose’. Joubert died in January this year at the ripe old age of ninety-one. He didn’t write much music for the organ but two works will be heard in this series: ‘Six Short Preludes on English Hymn Tunes’ and ‘Reflections on a Martyrdom’. Also coming in this summer’s series will be rarely heard early works by JS Bach, plus a Handel Organ Concerto, supplemented by more twentieth-century pieces, including the Swiss composer Frank Martin’s astonishing Passacaille and two of Guy Bovet’s Tangos Ecclesiasticos, which necessitate playing from facsimiles of both composers’ manuscripts!

The recitals are on Tuesdays May 28, June 11 and 25 and July 9, admission free and begin at 1.00, lasting around 45 minutes. Tea and coffee will be on sale – bring your lunch to eat as you listen.

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