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Wednesday Lunchtime Organ Recital: Christopher Herrick

Wed, 17 January 2018 at 12.30pm

On Wednesday 17 January, international concert organist Christopher Herrick gives a lunchtime organ recital at St Albans Cathedral.

All are welcome; the recital will be around half an hour and admission is free, with a retiring collection in aid of Cathedral music funds.

 

Programme:

Litanies Alain

Concert Fantasia (Improvisation on The Sailor's Hornpipe, The British Grenadiers, and Rule, BritanniaLemare

Prelude & Fugue in A minor BWV 543 JS Bach

Adagio in F major Beethoven

Power of Life Mons Leidvin Takle

 

Christopher Herrick's career as one of the world's leading concert organists is based on firm foundations. As a boy he was a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral, lucky to sing in the 1953 Coronation Choir and to take part in a 40-concert tour of North America later that year. He was Music Scholar at his senior school, Organ Scholar at Oxford University and Boult Scholar at the Royal College of Music in London. He was asked back as Assistant Organist to St Paul's Cathedral and then spent ten years at Westminster Abbey, where he played for many Royal and State occasions, including the state funeral of Lord Mountbatten, the funeral service for Herbert Howells, and for both the 80th birthday concert and the funeral service for Sir William Walton.

In 1983 Hyperion Records, Britain's most prestigious Classical Music label, recorded an album by him entitled 'Organ Fireworks' on the Westminster Abbey organ. Since then, as an exclusive Hyperion artist, he has recorded over 40 CDs, including 14 Organ Fireworks discs - 'The strengths of this hugely enjoyable and downright spectacular series lie in consistently first-rate recordings of some of the world's most aurally stunning instruments and in Herrick's playing, which can only be described as unfailingly brilliant' (Gramophone) - and the complete organ works of Bach on 16 discs - 'Christopher Herrick and the Hyperion team deserve the warmest praise for a Bach cycle that has provided such scintillating and compelling listening' (Gramophone).

Since 1979 his busy concert schedule has taken him all over the world, regularly to Europe and North America, as well as to Russia, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. In his travels he has had the privilege and the pleasure of encountering innumerable organs of every conceivable style, from exciting larger instruments to delightful smaller ones, ranging from the historic to the brand new. Now in his 70s, he intends to continue to play in great cathedrals, leading concert halls and beautiful churches with fine organs as long as he has health and strength and as long as audiences continue to appreciate his particular brand of music making.

In fact, after playing his Russian debut in 2013 in the prestigious St Petersburg White Nights Festival at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, he was immediately invited back to play a complete Bach cycle in 12 concerts during the first half of 2014.

This echoed his previous 1998 marathon at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, that time performing Bach's complete works in 14 concerts on 14 consecutive days in the Alice Tully Hall on the great Kuhn organ. This was rewarded with this review in the New York Times:

'He is a virtuoso, no question. He was at the peak of his considerable form, combining precision with panache, interpretive freedom with sheer joy in virtuosity. The playing was, in a word, triumphal.'

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