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Organ Recital by Dr Roger Williams, MBE
Friday May 31 @ 19:30 - 21:00
Roger was born in Swansea but educated in Yorkshire, Cardiff University, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London and King’s College, Cambridge. Organist, harpsichordist, conductor, composer and singer, his distinguished career encompasses work with the BBC Singers, performances at many London concert venues, and as Chorus Master to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. After retiring from the post of Master of Chapel and Ceremonial Music at the University of Aberdeen, he is now the Music Director and Organist to the Cathedral Church of St Machar in Old Aberdeen and Music Adviser to the National Trust for Scotland. He was appointed MBE for services to music in 2009. Recent recitals include St Stephan’s Cathedral Vienna, and Paisley Abbey. In November he will make his debut in Russia in St Petersburg. Roger’s typically thoughtful and wide-ranging programme, below with brief excerpts from his notes, contains a Marian theme, appropriate to the Priory.
Admission £10 on the door.
Ave Maris Stella: J Titelouze 1563-1635 ‘Hail, O Star that pointest
Towards the port of heaven’. Verses designed to go in alternation
with this ninth century hymn.
Suite of Scottish Dances: Anon 16th century arr. R B Williams
Tunes with textures built up from added drones and harmonies.
The Flowering Cross 2019: T Raymond b.1953 A first performance of
the second in a planned cycle of pieces based on the traditional Irish
Lament of the Three Marys, the first instalment being premièred
earlier this month at Buxtehude’s old church in Helsingborg, Sweden
by its organist, George Chittenden. (TR)
Adagio: Albinoni 1671-1751 Giazotto 1920-98 Albinoni’s tune is
wonderfully evocative, and fully deserves its glorious setting.
Sancta Maria: J Dunstable c.1390-1453 The key figure in the
transition from medieval to renaissance periods, this English
composer writes predominantly in three part textures presenting
sweet-toned chord progressions which influenced both his
continental contemporaries and subsequent composers.
Farewell to Stromness: P Maxwell Davies 1934-2016 Originally for
piano, this evocative piece fits beautifully on the organ.
Arabesque: Postlude L Vierne 1870-1937 A timely tribute to the
parishioners of Notre Dame in Paris (of which Vierne was a
celebrated organist) after the devastating fire earlier this year. The
first is a slow and beautifully calibrated cantilena, while the second,
as its title suggests, is more active and works up to a fine climax.
Chorale Preludes on: O wie armen Sünder Herzlich tut BWV 727
J S Bach 1685-1750, O Mensch bewein H.Walcha 1907-1991
Though blind, Walcha recorded the complete organ works of
J.S.Bach. The two Chorale Preludes, either side of the ‘Passion’
Chorale by Bach, explore a distinctive colourful organ sound.
Sortie in E Flat: L J Lefebure-Wely 1817-69 A frankly enjoyable piece,
more redolent of the circus than the cathedral, but none the worse