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Grand Organ Festival Recital

The next Recital in the Festival takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 22 June, when the recitalist will be Peter Stevens, the Cathedral’s Assistant Master of Music. Admission is by payment on the door at £15, with £12 for concessions.

The Programme:

Widor’s 6th Symphony is regarded as one of the highlights of his vast output for the organ. Completed in 1878, it was first performed by the composer at the inauguration of the organ at the Paris Trocadéro in the same year.

Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin was described by Yehudi Menuhin as ‘the greatest structure for solo violin that exists’. Thought to have been written in response to the death of his first wife, Bach’s kaleidoscopic set of variations has been arranged for many instruments over the centuries; this version, by Wilhelm Middelschulte, treats the Chaconne in full late-Romantic style, showing the influence of Max Reger.

Despite being Messiaen’s first published work, dating from 1928, Le Banquet Céleste shows many of the hallmarks of his own unique style. A lush, ecstatic Eucharistic meditation, its mood of stillness and warm harmonic language make it a perfect introduction to Messiaen’s organ music.

Francis Pott’s Toccata dates from 1990. Rhythmically intricate and bristling with energy, it forms a thrilling conclusion to the programme.