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Rob Cowan - Mornings On Radio 3


Malcolm Kemp
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Those of us whose circumstances permit a more leisurely breakfast than those who have yet to escape the rate-race can be grateful for Rob Cowan on Radio 3. Several times recently he has played organ music between 7 and 10 am. Today we heard the superb Prelude & Fugue in B major by Saint-Saens I tomorrow we are promised an expanded version of a Handel Organ Concerto. Does this herald a sudden (and most welcome) realisation by the BBC that there are people who actually like organ music or do Mr Cowan and his producer have a fairly free hand in what comes out of his "rucksack" each morning? His on-line CV states that Rob C is a string player; I had begun to wonder whether, like Hugh Edwards, he was a closet organist.

 

Whatever, his fairly regular inclusion of organ music makes the trivial round and common task of completing Telgraph Suduko puzzles that much more enjoyable. We should be grateful!

 

Malcolm Kemp

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This has been remarked upon already. Also "Artist Focus" has featured both Dame Gillian Weir and Olivier Latry. So it does seem that there has been a most welcome change of heart within the BBC towards the organ and its music. The fact that, from September, Choral Evensong will have a repeat and thus be programmed twice a week is also good news.

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Rob Cowan is quite a fan of the organ and an extremely nice and very knowledgeable chap. I have had several short email conversations with him and he has expressed his love of the organ music of Bach and, more especially, Buxtehude. He would like to do a "complete works" feature of the latter. I don't think he's quite so keen as I on more modern French music!

 

He has quite a latitude with the non-published (i.e. those not in RT) pieces and welcomes requests. More power to his elbow...

 

P

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