willy Posted June 5, 2005 Share Posted June 5, 2005 I know I was not impressed by the programme put together for last night's gala concert, but by the time I left the RAH at 10pm the rancour was forgotten, and a thoroughly good night was had by all judging from the comments i heard as we poured out onto Prince Consort Road. You certainly heard the organ, too much at times it may be said! From the moment the first rumble was heard from the 32' Contra Violone in the opening of "Also Sprach Zarathustra", the the nerve shattering final cord of the piece, i knew we were in for a good night. No holds barred - the organ (played by the lovely Mr Disley) simply swept the orchestra away, and hard as they might sayw and blow on their instruments, nothing could be heard but the mighty Willis/Harrison/Mander alalgam that is now our organ. The Saint Saens quiet movement had some really lovely moments - especially near the end when the Orchestral strings and the pedal 32's blended beautifually with the orchestra ( some of these 32 notes really make the place shake!!). It would have been nice for the finale, if there had been more of a build-up - say start with the Orchestral trumpets coupled to the great instead of going flat out with the trombas from the very beginning. Even so - theres seemed to be a bit more added all the time until the shattering final chords. The organ entries into the Walton & Elgar bits was everything it should be and then went onto being a helluva lot more, again drowing the poor old orchestra completely (although in Steven Disley's hands for Cockaigne it was just right, whereas the dear Doctor just couldn't help himself as he snatched out for his tubas with gay abandon, and sat smugly with his arms folded with bottom D and everything going like the clappers for the end of Land Hope & Glory - brilliant!!). The Mascagni Intermezzo was lovely - more than enough organ, but never too much. It was disappointing to have the Widor, one of only 2 genuine organ solo works, joined by the orchestra - the sound was a bit muddy, and again Steven Disley was more generous in not completely anahilating the orchestra - at least until the very end. Ok - so it wasn't a proper organ reciltal, and the organ was unashamedly given rather more to say for itself in some of the works than it normally would have been allowed, but it was fun, people came (three-quarters full?) and obviously enjoyed it. NOW - ROYAL ALBERT HALL AUTHORITIES - THIS IS OUR ORGAN AND WE WANT TO HEAR IT A LOT MORE OFTEN, PLAYING THE GLORIOUS REPERTOIRE OF PROPER ORGAN MUSIC THAT THIS WONDERFUL ORGAN WAS CREATED FOR. A year on from the re-opening of the organ - and it sounds even better than it did then. If you haven't been and heard it live - GO!! No amount of listening to CD's radio broadcasts or TV concerts can prepare you for the real thing. I sat in the Circle, front row block V, about 5 o'clock from the organ - so by no means on top of it, and the sound absolutely knocked you flat!!! It is well worth the trouble - even if you live on the moon! Bill : Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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