City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Organ Recital in the City, St Andrew's and St George's West, Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 13 August 2014

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St Andrew's & St George's West At Festival Time 2014
Running time: 
Handel, March from Judas Maccabeus; Buxtehude, Prelude, Fugue & Chaconne in C; Wesley, Air and Gavotte; Bach, Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C; Hollins, Pastorale; Mozart, Adagio for Glass Harmonica; Dubois, Toccata in G.
Christopher Nickol (organ)

In years gone by the organ recital audience sat on the dais and looked up to the organ loft and saw not much more than the head and shoulders of the organist. Nowadays we get a really good view of what's happening - screened on to the church wall in front of us. And fascinating it is.

Introduced to us by Brigitte Harris, St Andrew's and St George's West's resident organist, Christopher Nichols is a Glasgow organist who first told us just a little about each of the seven works he was to play before he went up to the organ loft. All were familiar works more often than not heard as voluntaries at the conclusion of church services.

Handel's March from Judas Maccabeus was described as similar to the hymn tune 'Thine be the Glory'. Christopher Nichol had made the point that whilst the three sections of Buxtehude's Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne in C lasted five minutes, the three sections of Bach's Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C was three times as long. Between the two we heard Samuel Wesley's lovely Air and Gavotte. Wesley was a fan of Bach and named one of his sons after the composer.

Alfred Hollins, who died in 1942, was organist at St George's West Church in Edinburgh's Shandwick Place so it was fitting to hear his Pastorale which is in the style of Handel. Four flute stops were used for Mozart's Adagio for Glass Harmonica. The recital finished with the three sections of Theodore Dubois's Toccata in G. Dubois was organist in Paris at La Madeleine Church.

An uplifting recital.

Event: Wednesday 13th August 2014 at 12.30pm