Romantic Organ Masterworks

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					          Leeds Parish Church
             Saint Peter-at-Leeds

The Friends of the Music of Leeds Parish Church
              Registered Charity No 1055944


Romantic Organ
     August Sunday Evening Organ Concerts, 2010

            Dr Simon Lindley

                  Free Admission
Please give generously to the Retiring Collections
              for organ maintenance.
  Completing and signing a Gift Aid envelope
             enhances your donation.
                                   Samuel Sebastian Wesley
                      Organist of Leeds Parish Church from 1842 to 1849

S S Wesley’s Visiting Card Photograph by H N King, reproduced by kind permission of The Royal College of Music

                                           200th Birthday
                                          August 14th 2010

                       Weekend events at Leeds Parish Church
                         Saturday 14th August at 11.00 am
            Holy Communion [said] according to the Book of Common Prayer
                          Sunday 15th August at 8.10 am
                    Sunday Worship – Live BBC relay [Radio Four]
                          Sunday 15th August at 7.45 pm
                       200th Birthday Weekend Organ Recital
                                 Dr Simon Lindley

                          Commemoration Recital at Leeds Town Hall
                             Monday 27th September at 1.05 pm
                                    Dr Simon Lindley
            Romantic Organ Masterworks – 2010 Series
Sunday 1st August
Peeters                       Suite Modale
                              Koraal – Scherzo – Adagio – Toccata
O’Connor Morris               Celtic Melody, Op 43 No 3
Schumann                      Four Sketches Op 58: in C minor, C, F minor & D flat
Hollins                       Song of Sunshine [1913]
Bernard Johnson               Canzonet & Caprice [Andante – Allegro vivace]
Rheinberger                   Sonata III in G, Op 88 [Pastoral]
                              Pastoral [Con moto] – Intermezzo [Andante] – Fugue [Non
                              troppo Allegro]
Sunday 8th August
David N Johnson               Trumpet Tune in A [1974]
Cocker                        Interlude & Paean
Cocker                        Angelus & Trio
Tournemire                    L’Orgue Mystique No 35
                              Suite In Assumptione Beatae Maria Virginis
                              I – [Introit]; II – Offertoire; III – Elévation;
                              IV – Communion; V – Paraphrase-Carillon
Franck                        Pièce Heroïque [Trois Pièces, Op 78]
Lefébure-Wely                 March in C [1863]
Sunday 15th August
Samuel Sebastian Wesley Bicentennial Recital
Francis Jackson              The Archbishop’s Fanfare [1961]
Henry Smart                  Postlude in C
William Russell              Voluntary X in G [second set]
                             Largo maestoso – Fuga [Alla capella]
Samuel Wesley                Air and Gavotte [‘Twelve’ Short Pieces]
S S Wesley                   Air Varied, for Holsworthy Church Bells
S S Wesley                   Introduction & Fugue in C sharp minor
S S Wesley                   Andante in G
Henry Smart                  Air with Variations and Finale Fugato [1871]
Sunday 22nd August
Karg-Elert                    Chorale Improvisation Op 65 No 59: Nun danket alle Gott
                              [Marche Trionfale]
Harvey Grace                  Resurgam
Nigel Ogden                   Scherzo for the White Rabbit
Bairstow                      Evening Song [1899]
Mendelssohn/Kynaston          Prelude & Fugue in B minor, Op 35 No 3
Gounod/Best                   Funeral March of a Marionette [Jeanne d’Arc]
Karg-Elert                    Homage to Handel – 54 Studies in Variation Form [1914]
Sunday 29th August
Walton                        Coronation March 1953: Orb and Sceptre
Malcolm                       Bach before the Mast
Rossini/Lemare                Overture: William Tell
Ravel/Green                   Pavane pour une enfante défunte
Rawsthorne                    Dance Suite [1997]
                              March–Dancing Feet–Waltz–Danse de Papillons–Line Dance
Elgar/Sinclair                March: Pomp & Circumstance, No 4 in G [1907] Op 39
Parry                         Jerusalem [1915]

                                 Programme Notes
                                     Sunday 1st August

Created a Baron by the King of the Belgians for his services to music, Flor Peeters was
distinguished in equal measure as composer, executant and teacher for on and of the
organ. Nor was his output confined to music for the King of Instruments. There are several
fine Masses, including the widely-used Missa Festiva (sung regularly at York Minster and St
John’s College Cambridge), and numerous motets for liturgical usage - together with fine
solo songs and a small group of secular vocal pieces - including stylishly set Flemish folk
tunes. At the very early age of twenty-two Peeters was named Titular Organist of St
Rombout’s Cathedral, Mechelen by Cardinal Mercier (of Malines Conversations fame). He
served at the Cathedral for over sixty years and was also Director of the Antwerp Royal
Conservatoire. Peeters was a much-travelled recitalist and many of his finest works were
composed for performance on his numerous American tours. Flor Peeters led a hugely
active life with concerts, composition and teaching at its heart. His musical style is catholic.
Although encompassing a wide range of influences, his artistic expression remains
instantly recognisable. Plainchant, music of the French schools, Bach, even jazz – all were
important to him. Peeters’ creative output includes a substantial amount for the organ. His
career was hugely influential both in his native Belgium and further afield. As a student, he
had been a pupil of both Dupré and Tournemire, and dedicated works to each. The Suite
Modale dates from 1938. Each movement is vividly contrasted. Koraal is a grandly festive
fanfare, blazing and heraldic. The delightful Scherzo follows – with tonal colours including
mutation stops, a solo reed and strings vieing for the listener’s attention. A sadly dolorous
Adagio precedes the final Toccata. The title refers to the modality of the individual pieces
cast in modes. Rather than being based within major or minor tonalities, their modal base
gives an air of major and minor alternately in the same evocative way as found in folksong
and plainchant.

Geoffrey O’Connor-Morris, though of Irish descent, was born in Switzerland. His musical
studies in Dublin were followed by work as Assistant Organist of Carlisle Cathedral, after
which he held posts in London – including being an Examiner for Trinity College of Music
and a professorship at the Guildhall School of Music. His compositions were all for the
organ and include a Celtic Melody of great charm written in 1932 and affectionately
inscribed to his old master W H Vipond Barry, Organist of the Anglo-Catholic shrine of St
Bartholomew Dublin. The work is cast in three-section form, with the main haunting tune
enclosing a more cheerful central section.

Robert Schumann lavished tremendous care on a series of significant pieces for
pedal-piano. This contraption had been presented to him by an enterprising manufacturer
who sought to stimulate the composer’s interest by that means. Before the days of electric
organ blowing, friendly and cooperative vergers and central heating, such a device must
have been a real boon for the rehearsing organist. It is typical of the volatile and erratic
Schumann that he should devote such great care to his output for this humble device.

Besides the Four Sketches Op 58, there are six magisterial Fugues on B.A.C.H. and a set of
Six Canons. The sketches – each is in three part form – are light-hearted and deft pieces.
The third, fast and furious, is in vivid contrast to the more urbane manner of its
companions. The finale is soufflé-light – a scherzetto!

A native of Kingston-upon-Hull in Yorkshire’s East Riding, Alfred Hollins studied at the
Norwood College for the Blind and held posts as Organist in Surrey at the outset of his
distinguished career as recitalist and composer. His lengthy tenure at the fashionable
Edinburgh church of St George’s West is still remembered, and he was one of Britain’s
most widely travelled concert organists. The advocacy of players of the calibre of Dr Roy
Massey in the 60s and 70s did much to rehabilitate his stature as a composer and much of
his output (for long extremely difficult to obtain) is now, happily, back in print. Among
many publications must be mentioned his autobiography - A Blind Musician looks back -
providing a fascinating insight into this vastly talented organist, his life and times. Hollins is
represented by one of his most characteristic pieces –a ternary structure in formal terms
having a claim to be in the category “Hollins’ greatest hits” for Song of Sunshine is a real
organ classic. Dating from 1913, its intimacy and warmth of expression bespeak an age
gone for ever after the horrors of the Great War.

Bernard Johnson was Organist of Bridlington Priory in North Yorkshire, before being
brought by famous Chemist magnate Jesse Boot to be the first occupant of the post of
organist at the Albert Hall, Nottingham in 1909. There he remained until his death in
1935, working at the University as well as at the Albert Hall where he presided at the
magnificent Binns instrument which Boot donated to his native town. In his earlier career,
Johnson had served as Organist and musical instructor at Leeds Grammar School. He
edited a series of recital pieces for the London publishing house of Stainer and Bell, and his
own Canzonet and Caprice were issued in 1912. His music is always beautifully scored and
peppered with period registration directions. The Canzonet, dedicated to the composer’s
sister, is in song without words mould with a sustained and elegant melody played by the left
hand in the tenor part on a solo reed stop with tremulant. The Caprice is in the bright key
of B major - a lively scherzo headed by a quotation from Spenser “At the Kerke, when it is
holiday”. The piece is inscribed to the great Alfred Hollins, for whom it was written.

Rheinberger, a native of Vaduz in the tiny principality of Lichtenstein (a region known for
superb garlic sausage, colourful postage stamps and Rheinberger – and not much else), was
the son of the paymaster to the Prince. His talent was in evidence in early childhood and at
the age of twelve his sensible parents packed young Josef off to Munich for serious musical
study. Becoming a Professor of Piano, and later of Composition, at the age of only
nineteen, Rheinberger held a number of major Munich posts including that of Organist of
St Michael’s Church and conductor of the Oratorio Society. He was in 1877 made
Kapelmeister to the Royal Court, dying in his adopted city on 25 November 1901. His
twenty sonatas and numerous other organ pieces comprise a hugely significant corpus of
music for the king of instruments. The sonatas were produced between 1868 and 1901
and the dramatic third – the Pastoral – its composer’s Opus 88, was written during 1874.
The outer of the three component movements utilise the Plainchant eighth mode psalm
tone, the manifestations of which range from the heraldic opening pedal solo at the outset of
the work to the tenderest of lyrical harmonies of the fugal episodes in the finale. At the heart
of the sonata is a gently lyrical Intermezzo and the work closes with a brilliant and energised

                                     Sunday 8th August

David N Johnson (1922-1987), Professor at the Arizona State University and organist of
Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, rather cornered the market in American trumpet tunes or
voluntaries last century, writing at least seven in the 1960s and 70s of which the opening
work in the second programme of our series is one of the most extrovert. His other organ
music is in a similarly felicitous style, and organists have good cause to be grateful for it.

Born in Sowerby Bridge just to the west of the county borough of Halifax, Norman Cocker
received his early musical education at Magdalen College School. Sent down from Oxford as
an undergraduate for producing an insufficient quantity of academic work, Cocker held
posts as organist of St Philip & St James Church and as a schoolmaster in Oxford before
becoming Assistant at Manchester Cathedral. He served three terms of office altogether in
Manchester, his time as Assistant Organist to Dr A W Wilson being broken briefly for a
sojourn in London at the fashionable Belgravia Church of St Peter, Eaton Square. Life in
the South clearly not being to his liking, Cocker returned to his old appointment at the
Cathedral and succeeded to the full organistship on Dr Wilson’s death in 1943. Cocker was
responsible for the design of the Cathedral Organ on its post-war rebuilding, and was at
home as much at the cinema console as the cathedral loft – a very rare combination of
talents. His most famous organ piece, the celebrated Tuba Tune, appeared in 1922, as did the
four short works by him in our second August Sunday evening programme. Angelus proffers
gentle quiet tone-colours and the Trio which follows it is for flute stops. The Interlude is
punctuated by a delightfully deft pedal part and manual contrasts, while the Paean is a great
unfurling of organic energy and majestic rejoicing – the effect of the latter is similar to an
Anglican version of Reger’s style!

Organist of the famous Parisian church of Saint-Clothilde for almost forty years,
Tournemire’s magnum opus was his L’Orgue Mystique - a remarkable cycle of 51 suites for
Sundays and Holy Days designed to be played during Mass. The extraordinarily vivid pieces
contained within its pages, and his stunningly virtuosic improvisations (notated with faithful
brilliance from the recorded originals by Maurice Duruflé) keep his name alive.
Tournemire’s influence on organ music of later composers has been considerable, despite
the relatively small number of his own pupils. The synthesis of traditional plainchant themes
into his compositional style is extraordinary. Though each suite is in essence improvisatory,
some of the formal techniques used are of the most logical and structured kind. The Suite
for the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (celebrated annually on August 15th, and - on
the continent at least - in great style) clearly drew the very best from the composer. The
brilliant finale is acknowledged widely as one of the century’s best carillons and achieved
widespread prominence in performances by the American virtuoso Lynwood Farnam. This
ecstatic music combines influences of jazz and the French impressionists in its harmonic
language while retaining a tautly gripped musical structure in terms of its form. The
antiphonal treatment of the manuals is masterly, and the motto themes are thrown from
around a large instrument with abandon and verve – all the more effective by an economy
of scoring that often presents just a single melodic line. In common with the whole of
L’Orgue Mystique, each of the five movements in the Suite was designed for a specific
position in the service. The melody of the Introit, Gaudeamus omnes (Rejoice we all) is played
on a pedal flute. The Offertoire has undulating string stops and a bell-like ostinato. The
music for the Elévation introduces the motif of the antiphon Sub tuum praesidium. Flute
stops are again integral to the expression of the Communion, and Tournemire combines
in masterly fashion two of the most famous of all plainchant melodies - Ave, Maris Stella and
Salve, Regina - in his stupendous Paraphrase-Carillon - guaranteed to banish any lurking
cobwebs. Special acknowledgement and gratitude are due to Felix Aprahamian, who
provided much of the background information for my own first airing of this Suite to the
Organ Music Society at St Margaret’s Westminster in 1970.

Franck’s long period of service as Organist of St Clothilde, Paris, extended from 1858 until
his death. His playing was of legendary quality and his immense charismatic appeal as a
teacher (notably as Professor of Organ at the Conservatoire) proved profoundly influential
upon generations of leading French musicians - Chausson, d’Indy and Dukas among
them. Franck was a native of the Belgian city of Liège. Resident from the age of fifteen in
the French capital, his entire professional life was spent in service to music in its many
manifestations. A visionary violin sonata, major orchestral repertoire including the
under-rated Variations Symphoniques for piano and orchestra, choral and chamber music all
claim the attention of the discerning music-lover. By his skilled use of “cyclic” techniques
his influence on 20th century musical development was significant. His enthusiasm for,
and commitment to, the organs of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll is integral to a proper
understanding of the colours demanded by his output for the solo organist which is,
arguably, the most significant of any 19th century composer. Scores are carefully marked
with the exact registrations (the choice of stops) which Franck intended the player to utilise.
Importantly, the precise directions of the methods by which musical rise and fall - ebb and
flow of phrase - is to be achieved present the organist with significant challenges of control
on instruments not provided with some of Cavaillé-Coll’s most characteristic mechanisms.
Pièce Heröique is the final panel of the musical triptych which is the set of Trois Pièces of
1878. Insistent repeated chords surround a brooding main theme in the baritone register.
Characteristic dotting underpins the second motif and a central balm is provided by a duet
for flute and reed stops. Eventually, after the other themes have been extensively
developed, it is the melody of this lyrical central section which emerges triumphant ablaze
in the bright key of B major.

For the last seven years of his life, Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wely was Widor’s
immediate precursor as Organist of the Parisian Church of St Sulpice, then containing the
largest instrument in France. He began professional work young, at the age of eleven, as
deputy to his father – eventually succeeding him at St Roch at just fourteen. Immensely
popular as both composer and executant, he was memorably dubbed by Dr William Spark
(first Borough Organist of Leeds) as “both genius and gentleman”. Dr Spark was
responsible for the publication of much of his organ music in England. In post at La
Madeleine from 1847 from 1858, when Saint-Saëns succeeded him; it was during this
tenure that Lefébure-Wely played at Chopin’s funeral. His wonderfully jolly March in C of
1863 is one of his most infectious shorter works.

                                   Sunday 15th August

Francis Jackson devised his Archbishop’s Fanfare for the Enthronement of The Most
Reverend Donald Coggan as Archbishop of York and Primate of England in 1961. The
piece is dedicated to the composer’s friend and fellow-organist William Coulthard.
Vivacious dotted rhythms abound and the textures alternate between solo lines for the
tuba stop and more substantive richly-harmonised sonorities for a tutti ensemble on the
Swell and Great organs.

Henry Smart was organist early in his career at Blackburn Parish Church (now the
Cathedral), and thereafter for most of his long career at principal parochial foundations in
central London including St Luke’s, Old Street - a church with a remarkable obelisk spire
that still survives today. Smart was most famous for his remarkable work at St Pancras
Parish Church where his inventive extemporising and accompaniment of the hearty
congregational singing was, evidently, of superlative quality. He was also a leader in organ
design and was, together with his younger contemporary and biographer, William Spark,
winner of the design for the technically innovatory (though by no means entirely
mechanically successful) instrument at Leeds Town Hall. Smart’s vigorous hymn melodies
are to be found in every hymnal of any distinction, and in recent years his organ music has
found greater acceptance than in previous generations. His Andantes are many, and most of
them are distinguished by idiomatic scoring and substantial pedal parts. Smart’s church
music includes a famous Te Deum in F, once sung absolutely everywhere and a very
elaborate Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B flat (featuring an elaborately conceived organ
part with a solo for the tuba stop) written for the London Diocesan Choirs’ Festival at St
Paul’s Cathedral. Smart is represented in our programmes by two works – the Postlude in C
of 1869 and the remarkable Air with Variations and Finale Fugato in A of a year later. It was
this second work, dedicated to his friend the organ-builder Henry Lincoln that Smart
himself played at one of the opening recitals on the organ of the Royal Albert Hall in 1871.

Acclaimed by his peers as having
        A fertile talent for composition….a very superior Merit as an Organist [with] his
        extemporaneous performance very attractive
William Russell, Organist of St Anne’s Limehouse and the Foundling Hospital, was also a
pianist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. His early death at the age of just thirty-six was widely
deplored and the community of London’s professional musicians rallied round to provide
for his widow and family in their grievous loss. Russell published two sets of twelve
voluntaries each. The famous G major piece is the tenth work in the second set. A lively,
dotted introduction is followed by an ingenious Fuga marked alla capella founded on the
theme of the final movement of Haydn’s Stabat Mater of 1767 – Paradisi gloria, Amen.

Russell was more or less contemporary with the great Samuel Wesley – a leading figure in
the music of the capital and a very prominent exponent of, and enthusiast for, the great
Johann Sebastian Bach. Wesley’s place in the English acceptance of Bach is hugely
significant. Samuel was the youngest son of Charles Wesley, the noted evangelist and
hymnographer. The famous “Air” and “Gavotte” are drawn from a remarkable set of
organ pieces, described by their composer as:
         Twelve [actually Thirteen] Short Pieces for the Organ with a Full Voluntary
         added, composed and inscribed to Organists in General by Saml
         Wesley….London. Printed by Clementi & Co 1815.
These two extracts were made famous in an amplified version by the musical editor of
Novello, John E West, in the early 20th century. It’s believed West was responsible for
their titles.

S S Wesley, natural son of Samuel and his housekeeper Sarah Suter, was the first organist
of the then newly rebuilt Leeds Parish Church from 1842 to 1849. He had come to Leeds
in September of 1841 to play for the service of Consecration and the week of celebrations
associated with the opening of Chantrell’s new edifice built for the redoubtable Vicar of
Leeds, Walter Farquhar Hook. Hook offered Wesley a salary of £200 p.a. guaranteed for
ten years. Wesley had previously been Organist of Hereford and Exeter Cathedrals. His
noble Introduction & Fugue in C sharp minor was probably written in 1836. It has been
published in at least three versions, and that most in common use is by Henry Ley – issued
by Novello in the 1950s. After service in Leeds, Wesley was later at Winchester Cathedral
from 1849 to 1865 and, finally, ended his days at Gloucester, where he died in office in
1876 at the age of sixty-six. The superb Introduction and Fugue in C sharp minor dating from
forty years earlier is one of just two works surviving in current use from their composer’s
early 20s. A boldly rhetorical introduction is succeeded by an ingenious, weaving fugue of
great complexity with a superb subject hallmarked by gentle syncopations. It is well-known
that Samuel Sebastian inherited something of his father’s volatility of spirit - he was by
nature restless and by no means easy to get on with. His music, at its best, is supremely
well-crafted; too often, perhaps, the pressures of life conspired against him. He is
remembered with affection and not a little pride in those Anglican choral foundations he
served with such distinction. Among much musical activity he was responsible for the
design (a somewhat eccentric design) for Henry Willis’s superb instrument at St George’s
Hall Liverpool. Wesley’s Andante in G is a gentle, heartfelt utterance. The piece has made
many friends since its incorporation within Robin Langley’s magnificent ten-volume
Anthology of English Organ Music (Novello).

                                     Sunday 22nd August

Sigrid Karg-Elert’s visits to London in his last years secured his place in the affections as well
as the esteem of English-speaking organists. His Op 65 Chorale Improvisations are very
models of a genre he made his own and the Lutheran chorale tradition underpins many of
his other compositions too. However, his extensive output is not purely founded on
liturgical themes – whether Roman (for there are significant essays using plainchant
mottos) or Lutheran; there are substantial non-religious and even thoroughly secular pieces
gaining widespread ascendancy after decades of neglect. As a student, the youthful
Karg-Elert studied at the Leipzig Conservatoire, ultimately - in 1919 - returning as a
Professor. An acclaimed piano virtuoso, his increasing devotion to composition seems to
have been much encouraged by Grieg. His 66 Chorale Improvisations, mentioned above
and issued first in 1909, are corner-stones of the liturgical organist’s repertoire. Other
pieces are more suitable in concert or recital such as the late Valse Mignonne – with its
light-hearted mien shot through with overtones of the cinema organ. The Chorale
Improvisation on Johann Crüger’s noble hymn melody Nun danket alle Gott is sub-titled
Marche Trionfale and has seen many a bridal couple up or down the Aisle.

Famed equally in his day as musical animateur (he was a great organiser and conductor of
massed children’s choirs) and as a cathedral organist (at Chichester), Harvey Grace was for
many years the hugely influential editor of The Musical Times and the author of standard
textbooks in English on the organ music of Bach, Franck and Rheinberger, among others.
Though the musical public and posterity have never perhaps seen Harvey Grace primarily
as a composer, the quality of his organ output is considerable. The vivid Fantasy-Prelude
Resurgam dedicated to the brilliant American virtuoso Lynnwood Farnam and popularised
in our own day by George Thalben-Ball and John Birch. Resurgam is the final work of its
composer’s cycle of Ten Pieces for Organ published in London in 1922.

Nigel Ogden is widely respected as a leading exponent of theatre- and cinema- organ
repertoire as well as a conventional player of distinction and a composer of humour and
stylistic integrity. He is also the long-serving and extremely popular host of the long-running
BBC Radio programme The Organist Entertains, having succeeded the late Robin
Richmond in this significant capacity. The Scherzo for the White Rabbit is prefaced by this
quotation from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

        Suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close her. There was nothing so
        very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to
        hear the Rabbit say to itself: “O dear, O dear, I shall be too late”. (When she
        thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered
        at this. But at the time it seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually
        took a Watch out of its waistcoat-pocket and looked at it, and then hurried on,
        Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never
        before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket or a watch to take out of it,
        and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time
        to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

Bairstow’s output for the organ was regrettably small. Maybe his hectic professional
schedule prevented him writing more. Most of his organ pieces belong to his early career
and were composed during his terms of office as organist in turn of the great parish
churches of Wigan and Leeds. The Three Pieces of 1911 were obviously designed for the
Leeds instrument with its massive bass registers and multitude of expressive solo stops. The
first and last are founded upon traditional plainchant melodies – in order of appearance
Vexilla Regis prodeunt (The Royal Banners forward go) and Pange lingua gloriosi (Sing, my
tongue, the glorious battle). At the heart of the group of three is an exquisite Elegy of great
beauty and expressive power. Both plainchant based pieces deploy extremes of dynamic
contrast and vast sonorities. Of the two, the highly original Toccata-Prelude with which the
set ends is quite one of English organ music’s most inventive concepts. The popular and
expressive Evening Song dates from a decade earlier and was conceived, in its original form,
for solo cello and piano. The organ version was a great favourite of Lady Bairstow’s and a
performance by her husband after Evensong in York Minster on her birthday each year was
de rigeur.

A friend of Thomas Attwood, Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral, Mendelssohn used often to
play extempore after cathedral services on his London visits. This practice was evidently to
the delight of the cathedral congregation and to the professional frustration of the vergers
and organ blowers who, understandably, were keen to return home for their
post-Evensong afternoon tea. The main corpus of Mendelssohn’s output is contained
within his opus numbers 37 & 65. The Three Preludes and Fugues (Op 37) are dedicated
to Thomas Attwood, while his Op 65 comprises Six Sonatas written in response to a
request from a London music publisher. Lovers of the organ repertoire will not need
reminding that the use of the Sonata title is somewhat misleading, since none contains a
single movement in sonata form and the pieces may properly be thought of as organ suites -
the printer had requested voluntaries. Given his supreme gift as a melodist, it is not
surprising that generations of musicians have arranged some of Mendelssohn’s most
famous works for the organ. The vividly etched piano Prelude and Fugue in B minor, Op
35 No 3, is heard in a splendid arrangement by the concert organist Nicolas Kynaston,
issued as one of a set of Three Organ Transcriptions as recently as 1997. The directions
Prestissimo staccato for the Prelude and Allegro con brio for the Fugue sum up the glorious
musical characteristics of each.

Karg-Elert’s Fifty Four Studies in Variation form, published in London during 1914, are
entitled Homage to Handel. This evocative work comprises a veritable Cook’s tour of the
romantic organ. The piece is dedicated “with respect and gratitude” to the Royal College of
Organists, which august body had honoured Karg-Elert - these variations more than return
the compliment! The work was brought back into the repertoire largely as the result of
Conrad Eden’s brilliant performance on the Durham Cathedral Organ for the famous
EMI Great Cathedral Organs series. Subsequent fine recordings by Ian Tracey (at Liverpool)
and others have done much to rehabilitate this fine piece. The composer’s own preface is
worth quoting:
        “This work owes its inception to the last movement of Handel’s G Minor Suite
        for Pianoforte (sic), from which certain figures as well as the three themes
        combined in Variation 54 are taken. The dedication is intended to be an
        expression of thanks for the honour done the composer by his election in 1914
        as an honorary member of the Royal College of Organists. The memory of the
        great master Handel, whom both England and Germany claim as their own, has
        been invoked as a symbol of the close ties which bind English and German

Variations 1 to 28 are kaleidoscopic in contrast, Variation 29, at the heart of the work, is a
single melodic strand on one stop. From Variation 30 onwards, the work is built up to a
final, stupendous climax. Copies of this work used to be as rare as gold dust in the West
Riding. Today’s recitalist was presented some years ago with a good copy which had been
the property of Oxford Place Chapel Organist Wilfred Dunwell in the 1930s. The work
was published in 1922, printing having been delayed by the War. The Karg-Elert Archive
seeks to encourage and promote his music. Leeds-based virtuoso Professor Graham Barber
(until recently Head of the Music Department in the University here) is one who has
laboured ceaselessly in the cause of Karg-Elert’s music to good effect. Today’s recitalist has
been a Vice-President of the Archive (as had Professor Barber) since its inception as the
Karg-Elert Society.

                                   Sunday 29th August

Born in Oldham, William Walton’s early musical education was as a Chorister at Christ
Church, Oxford, under the youthful Henry Ley, who had been appointed to the
prestigious organist’s post there at the age of only nineteen. Walton was taken up by the
Dean of Christ Church and given much encouragement (and patronage) by the Sitwell
family. Artistic collaborations between Walton and the Sitwells proved highly fruitful in
the form of such classics as the Suite: Façade and the magnificent choral tour-de-force
produced at the 1931 Leeds Festival – Belshazzar’s Feast. Walton’s brilliant orchestration,
melodic felicity, sheer musical wit and general “oomph” rhythmically made him a natural
candidate to produce a Coronation March for the 1937 Coronation of His Majesty King
George VI and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother). Overlooked in all this
was Walford Davies, Master of the King’s Musick, and himself no slouch at Marches (about
half of The RAF March Past is his, though the indulgent Trio theme was worked by
Halifax-born Sir George Dyson). It may not be fanciful to suggest that Wigan-born Sir
Ernest Bullock – as Westminster Abbey Organist responsible for the Coronation musical
arrangements – may have preferred Walton as much out of regional loyalty as on account
of his musical gifts. Be that as it may, the 1937 March was an absolute “hit” from day one –
so good was it that Sir Ernest’s successor, Sir William McKie, made Walton responsible for
the same music at the 1953 service and another stupendous essay resulted in Orb and
Sceptre. The lyrical central tune is strongly Elgarian – indeed, it might have been written by
Sir Edward himself, though the jazzy harmonies are purely Waltonian.

The London-born organist, choirmaster, harpsichordist, conductor and composer George
Malcolm was a musician of many parts. Perhaps his conducting and choir-training have
overshadowed his great keyboard prowess, but – in his day – as a harpsichord player, he was
pre-eminent in Britain. His famous 45rpm vinyl recording of the great Alec Templeton’s
Bach goes to Town on the Parlophone label contains music of his own on the “flip” side in the
form of an ingenious and extended parody in the style of the great JSB entitled Bach before
the Mast – a free treatment of the well-known hornpipe, Jack the Lad, that features so
prominently in Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea-Songs.

The première of William Tell - a work described as dignified as well as dramatic - resulted in
the award to Rossini of the French Légion d’honneur from King Charles X. Large in scale,
and demanding in presentation, it is too seldom heard today without fairly vicious cuts.
Rossini based his opera on Schiller’s play of 1804. Sung in its entirety, the work would last
for near on five hours. Scholars pinpoint the generally poor quality of the libretto as
needing revision and even further cuts. The well-known comment of one of Rossini’s
friends bears repeating:
he exclaimed
         I heard your William Tell at the Opera last evening
Rossini is alleged to have replied:
         Good gracious - the whole of it?
And by his riposte neatly fingering the Achilles heel of the work the composer intended as
his masterpiece. The superb Overture survives very much a concert piece in its own right.
The music is expansive and vividly orchestrated. This prelude was unlike any previous
operatic curtain-raiser in history and in style is more akin to a romantic tone-poem, evoking
as it does the ambiences and venues of the opera. Of the initial section with its five solo
cellos, Berlioz said that it suggested
         The calm of profound solitude, the solemn stillness of nature when the
         elements and human passions are at rest.
The rest doesn’t last long and there is much ado in the brilliant storm section - this is, in its
turn, followed by a lyrical pastoral like section featuring quotes of the traditional Swiss
herding song, the ranz des vaches featuring Cor Anglais and Flute. The fabulously etched
twitter of the birds is rudely interrupted by the fanfare atop the Galop finale symbolising
Tell’s gallant victory against his foes. Music lovers can be divided into two types - those who,
on hearing this wonderful final section, bring immediately to mind the figures of The Lone
Ranger and Tonto and their respective horses, and those who don’t.

Ravel was born in the Basque region close to the Spanish border, of a mother herself
Basque, and his interest in the neighbouring country’s musical culture was deep and
abiding. It manifested itself not only in a pre-occupation with dance-rhythms like the
Habanera but in such explicitly Spanish compositions as L’Heure Espagnole and the Rapsodie
Espagnole. When he was invited to provide a ballet for the 1928 Paris season of Ida
Rubinstein’s company, Ravel thought at first of orchestrating a piece by the Spanish
composer Albéniz, but then he decided on an original composition instead and produced
Boléro. The rest, as they say, is history.

Son of a railway engineer, Ravel’s musical talent was fostered early and he entered the Paris
Conservatoire at the age of fourteen, remaining a student there for sixteen years in all. His
life, marred for ever by the debilitating effects of service in the Great War, was a constant
struggle against ill-health and he was, as a creative artist, plagued by constant self-doubt.
        I am not one of the great composers [he wrote]. All the great composers have
        produced enormously. There is everything in their work, the best and the worst,
        but there is always quantity. But I have written relatively very little…and at that,
        I did it with a great deal of difficulty. I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I have
        torn all of it out of me in pieces…
This is astonishingly self-deprecating for a composer who was one of the greatest (if not the
greatest) orchestrator in musical history. Ravel remained unmarried and it is said that apart
from his music, to which he devoted almost super-human energy, the beautification of his
house was his main pre-occupation in life. The decline of his latter years was sad; as
Stravinsky put it:
        Gogol died screaming and Diaghilev died laughing. Ravel, he died gradually -
        and that is the worst of all.

As Ravel himself wrote
       Music can undertake everything, dare everything, and paint everything,
       provided that it charms and in the end still remains music
and, perhaps still more significantly for the composer of so many truly popular works -
populist in fact!
       music must be emotional first and intellectual second

The magical Pavane pour une infant défunte began life as a work for solo piano, though it is in
the version for orchestra that it is most generally heard. Ravel says that he envisaged the
piece as
        an evocation of a Pavane that a little princess might, in former times, have
        danced at the Spanish court.
It seems that the composer had no particular princess in mind for what feels like a memorial
piece, but he did dedicate the music to his patron, the Princesse de Polignac. There are a
number of stylish arrangements for organ.

Organists and audiences alike continue to be profoundly grateful and deeply appreciative
of the important contributions to the repertoire emanating in recent years from the fertile
imagination and greatly gifted creative pen of Dr Noel Rawsthorne, Organist Emeritus of
Liverpool Cathedral. Rawsthorne’s influence on English organ playing remains immense.
His many recordings and performances enhanced playing standards and his compositions
are now sustaining a similarly significant influence on concert programmes and the
provision of liturgical music. Dr Rawsthorne’s Dance Suite was produced in 1997 for Dr
Gordon Stewart, Kirklees Borough Organist, to play at the recital marking the re-opening
of the famous Father Willis Organ at Huddersfield Town Hall after repair and restoration.
Each movement wonderfully captures its descriptive and the work has made many friends
since publication, though it is now, sadly, out of print.

Elgar published in all five Pomp and Circumstance Marches, each inscribed to a particular
friend or colleague. The first appeared in 1899 and the last as late as 1930. Sketches for a
sixth essay were left by the composer and have been completed by Anthony Payne. The
compelling title for the set comes from Act III of Othello:
        Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trumpet,
        The spirit-stirring drum, th’ear-piercing fife,
        The royal banner, and all quality,
        Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war.
Notwithstanding this, the composer provided his own motto, credo even, for the set by
means of the inscription written on the score of the famous first march:
        Like a proud music that draws men on to die
        Madly upon the spears in martial ecstasy,
        A measure that sets heaven in all their veins
        And iron in their hands.
        I hear the Nation march
        Beneath her ensign as an eagle’s wing;
        O’er shield and sheeted targe
        The banners of my faith most gaily swing;
        Moving to victory with solemn noise,
        With worship and with conquest, and the voice of myriads.
        Lord de Tabley – The March of Glory
The Fourth March dates from 1907 and is inscribed
        To my friend Dr G. Robertson Sinclair, Hereford
Sinclair, first Organist of Truro Cathedral, was in Office at Hereford from 1889, when he
succeeded Langdon Colborne, until his early death in 1917 at just 54 years of age. Dr
Sinclair was succeeded in 1918 by his articled pupil and former Hereford Chorister, Percy
C Hull, like Sinclair a great personal friend of Elgar. Most authorities consider the music of
the fourth March to be the finest of the whole set and certainly its “trio” tune is the equal of
No 1. During the Second World War, the theme of this section of the fourth March, like
that of Number 1, acquired a set of words – in the case of the 1907 work, stanzas written by
A P Herbert beginning with the words All men must be free, a Song of Liberty. Sinclair’s organ
arrangement is typically stylish.

Stanley Sadie’s admirably concise overview of Parry’s achievement provides an absorbing
insight into the life and work of one of the most underrated British composers since Henry
         His forceful personality and social position, together with his ethical views and
         intellectual vigour, enabled Parry to exercise a revitalising influence on English
         musical life in the late nineteenth century.

Besides being Director of the Royal College of Music in succession to Sir George Grove (he
of Grove’s Dictionary fame), Parry was also Professor of Music at Oxford. Despite
comparatively recent and marvellous recordings of his symphonies still readily available,
only choral singers and organists keep Parry’s flame burning. The few products of his art
that do remain in popular performance are evergreen - and very much an important part of
our national musical inheritance. Besides this national unison song, and the rhetorical and
quintessentially English Edwardian Coronation Anthem I was glad when they said unto me,
there are the exquisite Songs of Farewell and Cantatas (several of this latter group were
revived in Leeds with much success by the late John Coates).

William Blake’s Jerusalem has become a worthy companion piece to the National Anthem.
Probably composed in 1915 or 1916, this noble number came about as a result of a request
from the Poet Laureate, Robert Bridges, for a setting to use at a meeting of the Fight for Right
movement at London’s Queen’s Hall. The work enjoyed particular impact when used at
the Royal Albert Hall in March of 1918. Here in Leeds we may take not a little pride in
recalling that the stupendous orchestration of the accompaniment to this soaring melody
was the work of no less a figure than Sir Edward Elgar - being first heard in the Victoria Hall
at Leeds Town Hall during the 1922 Leeds Triennial Festival.

And did those feet in ancient time              Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Walk upon England’s mountains green?            Bring me my arrows of desire!
And was the holy Lamb of God                    Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?            Bring me my chariot of fire!
And did the countenance divine                  I will not cease from mental fight,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?             Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
And was Jerusalem builded here                  Till we have built Jerusalem
Among those dark Satanic mills?                 In England’s green and pleasant land.

    Dr Christopher Newton plays fine American Music at Leeds Parish Church
       Friday Lunchtime Recitals in September 2010 at 12.30 pm each week
  Barber–Chick Corea–MacDowell–Lemare–Locklair-Yon &c - not to be missed!
        The programme booklet is available from Sunday 29 August

                                Leeds Parish Church
                         Bridging the Gap Initiative
                helping the Church to face the future with confidence

                                   A Parachute Jump
                                  The Rectors’ Angels
                         takes place on Saturday 11 September
                 in aid of much-needed funds for the Parish Church
            The Rector of Leeds, Canon Tony Bundock – 0113 245 2036
     Church Treasurer, Trevor Parker, a Churchwarden or any member of staff will
                  be pleased to provide details of Bridging the Gap.
     You are welcome to speak with Dr Lindley after any of the Summer Recitals –
                             we need your help urgently!

           There are Sponsorship Forms in Church for the Parachute Jump,
                            or simply send a donation to
        The Church Treasurer – 5 St Peter’s House – Kirkgate – Leeds LS2 7DJ
         Cheques should be made payable to Leeds Parish Church – your gift is
        enhanced by taking and signing one of the Church’s Gift Aid Envelopes
                               with the blue headings.

                           Simon Lindley is Organist of Leeds Parish Church and
                           Leeds Town Hall. He gives very frequent concerts at both
                           venues – at the Church on Fridays and the Hall on
                           Mondays – as well as a monthly mid-morning recital on the
                           first Thursday of each month at the Moravian Church near
                           Pudsey in the village at Fulneck, where he lives.

                           At the Parish Church, his main duty is the direction of its
                           famous Choir and he is also Music Director of St Peter’s
                           Singers. At the Town Hall, he works on a great variety of
                           presentations in Leeds International Concert Season.

Further afield, Simon’s playing is to be heard at many leading UK venues and on
occasions abroad, mostly in association with overseas visits as a long-serving Special
Commissioner of the Royal School of Church Music. Already this year, he has given
recitals in Bradford, Derby and Ely Cathedrals.

Additional to his work with the Parish Church Choir and St Peter’s Singers, Simon is
Conductor of Sheffield Bach Society, Music Director of Overgate Hospice Choir,
Halifax and, for this coming season, Principal Guest Conductor of Doncaster Choral

In April and May he was privileged to be invested as Grand Organist to the United
Grand Lodge of England and of the Masonic Province of Yorkshire West Riding.

An acclaimed debut at London’s Westminster Cathedral in 1969, and – particularly –
his performance of the Elgar Sonata broadcast live from the 1975 Henry Wood
Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, established his reputation as a player of
distinctive style - a reputation since consolidated by numerous concerts and broadcasts
and by means of an extensive discography. He has two best-selling Naxos CDs to his
credit: French Organ Music from the Parish Church and Handel Concertos with
Northern Sinfonia. He is also to be heard on many recordings with the Orchestra of
Opera North from Leeds Town Hall [Naxos] and as accompanist to Phillip McCann in
his celebrated Chandos series The World’s Most Beautiful Melodies. Also for Chandos, he
plays the fiendishly difficult Khachaturian Organ Symphony on an award-winning CD
with the BBC Philharmonic, recorded live at a Leeds Town Hall concert.

Simon is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and of Trinity College of Music.
He holds a number of honorary diplomas and fellowships, including that of Fellow of
the Royal School of Church Music [FRSCM]. In 2002, an honorary doctorate of Leeds
Metropolitan University was conferred upon him in recognition of his service to the
musical and civic life of his adopted city and in 2006 he received the coveted Spirit of
Leeds award from Leeds Civic Trust.

He comes from a musical family and his own family comprises four children and two
American grandchildren. His sister, Ruth, has just retired after many years service in
the Choir of the London Oratory and their great grandmother, mezzo Marie Brema,
sang the role of the Angel in the first performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at the
Birmingham Festival in 1900.

     • Upcoming concerts include concerts at York Minster [Saturday 7 August,
       7.00], Pontefract Parish Church [Wednesday 11 August, 7.30] and his early
       Autumn schedule includes a concert on the newly restored instrument in
       Leeds Cathedral on Sunday 12 September at 3.30 pm. Other engagements at
       summer’s end are in Felixkirk [Friday 3 September, 7.00], All Saints, Leathley
       [Saturday 4 September, 7.15] and All Saints’ Elland [Saturday 11 September
       7.30]. On Monday 13 September, he opens the new lunchtime series at Leeds
       Town Hall at 1.05pm. At Hallam Methodist Church, Nether Green, Sheffield
       on Thursday 16 at 7.30, Dr Lindley presents a special recital on the superb
       Father Willis instrument in aid of Sheffield Bach Society’s Diamond Jubilee

               Wednesday 15th December 2010 at 7.00 pm
                            Carols for a Choral Future
                         Gala Carol Concert in support of
                         The Choir of Leeds Parish Church

                       The Choir of Leeds Parish Church
                                 St Peter’s Singers
                Leeds College of Music Community Choral Society
                           Rothwell Temperance Band
                           David Houlder at the organ
                                  Simon Lindley

                        Booking from City Centre Box Office
                                The Carriageworks
                                 The Electric Press
                              3 Millennium Square
                                     LS2 3AD
                                  0113 224 3801

                        or by post from Ann Chadwick
            Newlaithes Manor, Newlaithes Road, Horsforth, LS18 4LG
                                0113 258 8446

                        Leeds Parish Church

Fridays from 12.30 to 1.05 pm each week from September to July inclusive
                        Lunchtime Organ Music
                                played by
           David Houlder, Simon Lindley, Christopher Newton
                               and guests

                   Dedication Festival, September 2010
                           Thursday 2nd at 7.30
         Licensing of the Reverend Susan Wallace as Vicar Choral
                               [Adult Choir]

                    Dedication Festival Sunday 5th
                  Choral Services by St Peter’s Singers
                  9.15 Prayer Book Holy Communion
                         10.30 Festal Eucharist
                      Howells in the Dorian Mode
                         6.30 Festal Evensong
                           Byrd, Great Service

       Festival of the Friends of the Music of Leeds Parish Church
                 Back to Church Sunday 26th September
                    9.15 Prayer Book Holy Communion
                             10.30 Festal Matins
                   3.00 Festal Evensong and Benediction
                     Dyson in D – Anthems by S S Wesley
                           The Bishop of Beverley

       This year’s Yorkshire Three Choirs’ Festival, October 2010
                at Ripon Cathedral, Saturday 2nd October
                     5.00 Festal Evensong – Dyson in D
                    Vaughan Williams – Let all the world
                           7.00 Festival Concert
                              Duruflé Requiem
          Jonathan Dove – Seek Him that maketh the seven stars
                   David Hill – Dominus illuminatio mea
                at Leeds Town Hall, Monday 4th October
             1.05 pm – Festival Concert by Combined Choirs
                             Leeds Parish Church
                   Upcoming Special Services and Musical Events

Saturday 18th September
10.00 to 4.30      Royal School of Church Music Singing Day with John Rutter
                  Details and booking from John Francis Moss 07515 825 198

Sunday 17th October
3.00             Solemn Vespers – Lassus Primi toni; Monteverdi Beatus vir
                 Choirs of Leeds Cathedral & Leeds Parish Church

Monday 1st November
5.30            Festal Evensong of All Saints – Music by Harwood
                The Choir of Leeds Parish Church

Tuesday 2nd November
7.30            Requiem Eucharist [St Peter’s Singers]
                John Rutter – Requiem [Organ and Ensemble Version]

Remembrance Sunday 14th November
6.30           Requiem Eucharist – to the music of Fauré
               The Choir of Leeds Parish Church
               David Houlder organist

                                     Advent & Christmas
          Full details of Services and events are available in a special leaflet from
                                        November 1st

Advent Sunday 28th November
6.30             Traditional Advent Carol Service
                 The Choir of Leeds Parish Church

Saturday 4th December
7.30              at The Venue, Quarry Hill
                  Bach Festival Concert [St Peter’s Singers]
                  Cantatas: Sleepers, wake; Watch ye, pray ye;
                  Come, rejoice, ye faithful, come
                  Motet: Come, Jesu, come
                  Suite in B minor for Flute and Strings
                  Tickets: Leeds College of Music Box Office – 0113 222 4343

Sunday 19th December
3.00             Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
                 The City’s Carol Service
                 The Choir of Leeds Parish Church

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