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If you never do anything else on line...


Martin Cooke
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... do try to squeeze the opportunity to watch this. It's Jonathan Hope playing a recital in Gloucester Cathedral under Richard McVeigh's 'Beauty in Sound' banner. Three pieces - opens with BWV 541 and closes with Vierne 2, but in the middle, there is JH's simply astonishing own transcription of Elgar's Froissart Overture. It's a great piece and it shows off the music, the player and the organ brilliantly. The Bach and Vierne are, of course, brilliant as well, but, for me, the Elgar wins the cup being new to me, though I heard it at the RFH in a concert two years' ago, and it comes all the more alive from being able to see JH perform it. (There are several 'Beauty in Sound' videos in this new Gloucester project.) 

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Oh, how I hate the extra hour in bed!! And, thank you, to Martin! I was watching this at 05h00 (my time!).

Stunning - and I think that's the only word I can think of! Gloucester Cathedral is a building of complete superlatives - the glass, the great Norman pillars, the fan vaulting - all wonderfully shown on the video. They tell me, what do I know?, that you either love the organ or hate it. I thought the Bach sounded wonderful - real 'stylus fantasticus' - a romp from the beginning to the end. 

You're right Martin. I've known 'Froissart' since I first played it at RCM in 1968/69. I've often wondered what it would sound like on the organ or even, a bit like some Bruckner symphonies, if Elgar thought of the organ whilst he was writing the work. I thought the transcription to be amazing, written and performed by someone who thoroughly understood and knew well, the instrument they were arranging for and playing.

And I liked the homely touch too - the settee in the loft for long sermons and the dust around the foot pistons!!!

Brilliant - it made my early Sunday morning!

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Bravo Jonathan, a fantastic performance in every respect. Also much respect to Richard for the recording - the fantastic, but enormous, acoustic of Gloucester can be difficult to work with. I'm a big fan of Richard's and look forward to his 'Virtual Church' later today which was also recorded at Gloucester. He's a real ambassador for the organ and has done much to share his art (as well as his family) with the whole world.

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15 hours ago, Choir Man said:

Bravo Jonathan, a fantastic performance in every respect. Also much respect to Richard for the recording - the fantastic, but enormous, acoustic of Gloucester can be difficult to work with. I'm a big fan of Richard's and look forward to his 'Virtual Church' later today which was also recorded at Gloucester. He's a real ambassador for the organ and has done much to share his art (as well as his family) with the whole world.

Richard is like a breathe of fresh air. Unlike some, he has no airs or graces, and is straight to the point.  As a "non player" (but a good understanding of most things organ) he and a couple of others, like Fraser Gartshore and Jonathan Scott, have probably introduced a lot of the new generation to the instrument and got it out of the "dusty corner of the church or the lofty organ loft", of some of our greater churches and cathedrals, where they are often seen but never (dared) to be touched

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