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I have just read of the tragic passing of Jennifer Bate.  I am sure there are many members of this forum more qualified than I to write of her achievemnts

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On 26/03/2020 at 12:02, Jim Treloar said:

I have just read of the tragic passing of Jennifer Bate.  I am sure there are many members of this forum more qualified than I to write of her achievemnts

I only had the pleasure of hearing her once in a live performance when she gave the re-opening recital on the Royal Festival Hall organ in 2014.  Very elegant, stylish and polished playing is the best that I can describe it.

Her programme inevitably included Bach, her personal speciality Messiaen, a Mendelssohn Sonata and, most memorably, a wonderfully spiritual reading of Franck’s A minor Choral - also his musical last will and testament.  RIP.

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A fine musician. In the mid 1980s I was having FRCO paperwork lessons from music academic Robert Pascall (RIP) who knew JB well, having been a pupil of her father. She came to Nottingham to do a masterclass. Robert was short of pupils and he asked me if I'd be one of the guinea pigs. I played Mendelssohn IV first movement. She didn't like a few things I did - fair enough. She told the assembled company how important it was to try and get into the composer's mind. She mentioned that she had spent some considerable time doing that for her recent Messiaen collection, whereupon I said "well there you have the advantage over me and Felix". Much laughter. She didn't appreciate my impertinence. RIP.

 

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I remember Jennifer Bate coming to Colwyn Bay in the mid-1980s to give a recital on the Conacher/Cowin organ at St Paul's Church (and I guess having to give a recital on that organ would have been an ordeal for anyone). But... she certainly delighted and thrilled us all with her music that evening.  Later on I purchased her Messiaen recordings from Beauvais Cathedral and one or two others.  But now I think of it, I don't seem to have heard much about her in ages and ages.  Was she still active in the organ world?  There doesn't seem to be too much comment about one of our great organist recitalists.  Just wondering....

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Quite a lengthy article in CHOIR & ORGAN about her...not an obit.  Just coincidence.

 

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I bought one of her LPs at a recital she gave in 1978 which she signed.

'Jennifer Bate plays Liszt at the Royal Albert Hall' which I absolutely loved, especially her totally bonkers performance of Ad Nos which to my delight found on youtube a bit earlier today:

P

 

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Yet another unfortunate loss to the organ world, and the world of music at large.

Sadly there only appears to be one comment regarding her life and career in one of the daily rags.

I have reminded myself as to the excellence of her playing by digging out her performances of List and Stanford at the RAH.

Her televised performance from Norwich of Messiaen is still unforgettable.

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I was told that the critics loved the Liszt recording but someone said that of course the Albert Hall organ should never be used for Bach. She responded by including the St Anne P and F in her next LP. I have digitised (is that a word??) and put it here: 

P

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Marvellous recording!    Total rot that  " one cannot play Bach on the RAH instrument.   One can play Bach on ANY instrument. Many years ago I can remember seeing a young Jamaican lad playing a Choral Prelude  ( forgotten which one! )  on steel drum. I jest not. it was a marvellous rendition and I feel sure that The Great Man himself would have wholeheartedly endorsed it.

Anyway that excellent recording you have so kindly provided of JB proves the point completely.

 

                                                                 xx           Good old Jennifer      xx

 

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I only once got to hear JB play a recital which was at the Colston Hall, Bristol. I forget when the concert was but it was extremely good. May she rest in peace.

Dave

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