Organ recital delights

REVIEW Christmas Organ Recital

PAUL G COOKE
Last updated 07:44 24/12/2012

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Christopher Luke has just thrilled us with his last organ recital for 2012. But wait - there's more. A card is available at the cathedral to fit easily into your wallet with dates of his monthly recitals for 2013.

Christmas is a time when organs and choirs often lift the roof with joyful Christmas music. So it was refreshing to hear much of this repertoire played on the softer, gentler and sometimes more beautiful organ stops.

Earnest Dicks' prelude on Silent Night, Malcolm Archer's Bethlehem Lullaby, and Wilbur Held's Pastorale on Divinum Mysterium all came into that category of gentle reflective listening and were appreciated by a large attentive audience.

It was also interesting to hear, on two separate brackets, two different treatments of the same basic tune.

The programme opened with a joyful Fantasia on In Dulci Jubilo by J S Bach and was followed by a peaceful Trio on the same theme by Bach's father-in-law, Johann Michael Bach; an excellent contrast.

Then later we heard two preludes by Johann Pachelbel, both based on the tune Von Himmel hoch da komm ich her, the first of these also being a Trio. (A friend once asked me how one person can play a trio on an organ. An organ trio traditionally is three interweaving tunes, two played with right and left hands on different sounding manuals, and the third played on the pedals.)

Christopher Luke's comments to his audience are always a very appropriate blend of information (either about the organ or the music), and expressions of his love and passion for his music, the cathedral and the new country and city that he and his family have come to embrace.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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