This was a fascinating recital, predominantly based on the works of Alfred Hollins, and also his contemporaries. Hollins held many significant positions during his career, latterly at St George's West here in Edinburgh, but who - notably - was blind from birth. The recitalist, Simon Nieminski, has recently produced a recording of Hollins' works, and has had a distinguished career as a musician - both locally and also more widely.
Around forty people enjoyed an enchanting and exhilarating selection of romantic music, containing various items not often heard. We were promised "exciting colours" in the Introduction, and were indeed treated to hear the full capacity and capabilities of the wonderful St Cuthbert's organ, to which the programme was very much suited. It was much appreciated that we were able to see the four-manual console - with the organist playing - on a large projector-screen, which the audience seemed to enjoy.
Many of the pieces included dramatic and frequent changes in the organ's registration, clearly to the delight of those assembled. There was an interesting combination of technically complex and highly textured items, with those of a more 'fun' nature; both reflective and more stirring works were carefully included in a beautifully crafted programme. This was an involved and exciting recital, which held our attention throughout.
Performance was at 12.30pm on Friday 21st August 2015.