Hilary Norris (Leominster Priory)
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry: O God our help, from Three Chorale Fantasias
Frank Bridge: Adagio in E
Jehan Alain: Litanies, from Trois pièces pour grand orgue
Claire Delbos: Parce, Domine, for organ
Johann Sebastian Bach: Chorale Prelude on Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele, BWV 654
Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue, from Prelude and Fugue in E flat major St Anne, BWV 552
Josef Gabriel Rheinberger: Organ Sonata No 8 in E minor Op 132
Hilary Norris starts this year’s mini-series on the historic Binns Organ in Nottingham’s Albert Hall. Hilary is a former organ scholar of Keble College, Oxford and student of the Sweelinck Conservatoire and is now director of music at Leominster Priory.
Her programme is ideally chosen for the glorious turn-of-the-century sonorities of the Binns organ. There are two homages to J S Bach, “the father of us all” as Debussy called him: the majestic Fugue in E flat BWV 552, known in England as the St Anne fugue on account of its subject’s resemblance to “O God, our help in ages past.” Then that very hymn makes another appearance during this recital in Sir Hubert Parry’s Fantasia on that tune. Bach’s chorale prelude on Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele which is, according to Schumann, “as priceless and profound a piece of music as ever sprang from an artist’s imagination, which leads us to two examples of French mysticism: a piece by Messiaen’s first wife. Claire Delbos, and Alain’s famous Litanies, inspired by both jazz and grief. Frank Bridge’s Adagio takes us on a tour of the sonorities of the Binns organ, while Rheinberger’s eighth sonata is ideally suited to it: Rheinberger was influenced by the German sounds of Schulze organs, and Binns came under the same influence when he rebuilt the Schulze organ at the famous Leeds church of St Bartholomew at Armley, just five years before he came to the Albert Hall.
The concert will begin at 2.45pm. Tickets £6, under-18s free.
Tickets also available on the door, until sold out.