Jeremy Jones Posted April 25, 2005 Share Posted April 25, 2005 I have a question. Why is it that it is deemed unnecessary to publish in advance the programme for organ recitals? Does the repertoire not matter? This seems to be a situation you only really find with organ recitals, and in particular, those held in churches or cathedrals. Recitals, or concerts as they are sometimes called, in secular venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and Birmingham's Symphony Hall always publish what works are to be played. But enter a sacred place and it always tends to be a mystery until shortly before curtain up, when all is revealed. There are exceptions. Organ-centric places such as Lincoln Cathedral and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral are very good at publishing well in advance the programme, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Let me give two examples to back up my claim. Following some recent work on Bristol Cathedral's Walker organ, David Briggs gave a re-opening recital last week. David's website had mentioned this a number of months ago, and in recent weeks whenever you logged onto Bristol Cathedral's website you couldn't fail to miss the banner highlighting the event. But as to the programme itself, neither website revealed so much as a sausage, and a Google search revealed no one else was any the wiser. Why the big secret? Now next weekend Andrew Caskie is giving a recital at the Reid Memorial Church in Edinburgh. All that I could find on the internet about this recital is that it features (Alfred) Hollins and his contemporaries. Now I am by chance going to be in the vicinity so I will probably go along anyway, but that really is not the point. What seems to be the case, as far as I can see, is that it really doesn't matter what pieces are played at organ recitals - it's the instrument, and maybe the player as well that are the draw. What they actually play is secondary. Why should this be the case? Doesn't it matter whether Rheinberger, Messiaen or Bach is being played? Some people don't like Messiaen, and heresay though it is to say so, some people don't like Bach much either! But I think we need more detail than just the composer. Often it will just say: "Music by Bach, Howells, Liszt". But if you've gone that far, why not go the whole hog and tell us the very pieces that are to be played. Why should it have to be akin to getting blood out of stone? Jeremy Jones London Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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