A reminder that Noel Rawsthorne’s ashes are to be interred in the North Choir aisle at Liverpool Cathedral, alongside those of his predecessor Harry Goss-Custard, during Evensong tomorrow, Saturday 19th October at 3.00 pm.
The service will be followed immediately by Ian Tracey giving the 93rd Anniversary organ recital. This is the programme:
Felix Mendelssohn (arr. Goss-Custard): Overture ‘The Hebrides’
Noel Rawsthorne (1929-2019): Aria in E flat
Phantasie “Wachet auf”
i. Introduction ii. Trio with melody in the Tenor iii. Aria with melody in the Soprano
iv. Pedal solo v. Introduction, pedal cadenza and free fantasia
Ian Tracey: Aria ‘In Memoriam Noel Rawsthorne’
Felix Mendelssohn (arr. Goss-Custard): Scherzo from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Flor Peeters: ‘Lied Symphony’ (Op. 66)
Lied to the Ocean Lied to the Desert Lied to the Flowers
Lied to the Mountains Lied to the Sun
The video is well worth watching - fabulous music. First time I have heard the John Gardner organ/trumpet piece which I think was written for John Birch for use at one of the SC festivals in the late 70s - an exciting voluntary!
At one church where I played regularly earlier this century I tried to fit myself round the likes and dislikes of as many factions (if that's the right word) which I identifed in the congregation. There were those who plainly were traditionalists and enjoyed having the organ, and sometimes my introductory music was simply a segwayed medley of hymn tunes played quietly rather than pieces from the organ repertoire. This clearly worked on at least one occasion when a very elderly lady came up to the console after the service, supported by her daughter, who said touchingly with tears in her eyes how much she had enjoyed hearing the old tunes which her father used to play on the reed organ at home when she was a little girl. On other occasions I would sometimes play the piano rather than the organ, such as for an impromptu Evensong when so few turned up that the vicar thought it would be better if we all occupied the chancel. On that occasion only the hymns were accompanied. That went down well also, the lay reader commenting afterwards that "my word, an organist who deigns to play the piano. We must have him stuffed!". (I knew her well and it was said and meant entirely kindly). Or sometimes I would willingly give the whole service over to a worship group who then did their own thing.
Despite all this, though, there were obviously some at that church for whom nothing would have been enough and who probably regarded me as a 'snowflake' - though I consciously did nothing as far as I am aware to encourage this view. Some of these people were even in the choir, among those I would normally have regarded as friends and allies! So in the end I gave up and left. Yet even after that I got calls imploring me to come back for services such as weddings and funerals when presumably they couldn't get anyone else, which I turned down because I disliked being at the beck and call of those who thought they could use me as a convenience.
I suspect this story will resonate with some other members of the forum. It's nothing to do with octave couplers but it does have a connection with the original poster's remarks above.