Foxearth Church – Organ Recital

MC900432654The recital on Saturday 20th September in Foxearth Church to celebrate the restoration of the historic and esteemed “Father” Willis organ was a resounding success from all points of view. James Davy – Organist and Master of the Choristers at Chelmsford Cathedral – must stand as one of the leading young organists of his generation in the country and he demonstrated the wide variety of musical colours the instrument can produce in the hands (and feet) of a master. About 85 people attended to hear a programme ranging from J S Bach to Pietro Yon with offerings of Buxtehude, Mendelssohn, Brahms as well; The Little Organ Book, assembled by a group of British composers in memory of Hubert Parry, was performed with perfect attention to its reflective nature. The recital ended with rapturous applause being given to a dashing rendering of the exciting and virtuosic Widor Toccata from his Symphony No. 5 – a superb finish to a brilliant and memorable evening. James introduced each half of the concert with a short commentary on the music and spoke of his joy at finding an instrument of such high quality in a small village church. He was warmly thanked by Churchwarden Malcolm Graham for his outstanding contribution.

The restoration had cost £7,500 and thanks were expressed to all who had helped to raise this daunting amount – in particular for a magnificent donation from a past resident and grants from Essex Heritage Trust and the local Church and School Foundation.

After expenses the recital raised almost £560 for the church’s general restoration fund – an indication surely of the audience’s high regard for the artist’s splendid performance. We thank all who came along in support.

Kenneth Nice

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