The organ recital in St Mary’s last night was superb. We are, of course, spoilt in Swanage anyway by the fine musicians that we have, so, subconsciously, we are expecting high quality performances, and David Poulter delighted us with a varied and stunning recital. Screens erected to project the view of two cameras did help, as we could see the organist’s hands and feet - which is particularly exciting in the fast bits (not maybe an accurate musical description, but you know what I mean!).
David introduced each piece, or group of pieces, in a way that I could understand, which made all the difference, giving just enough history and information about stops and construction of the compositions to help us listen for the reed or the flute, the trickling brook, or, alternatively for the ‘clean’ baroque sound, or the mighty, many-noted musical pieces that “have an awful lot of black notes on the page.”
J.S. Bach’s Toccata in the Dorian mode, Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor and Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, brought familiar music to our ears, and they were truly lovely, but of the less familiar, for me the highlight was César Frank’s Prelude, Fugue and Variation. David’s introduction to this piece was again, pitched just right, and it made me listen for particular phrases and sections more carefully than I would have done otherwise. The video link assisted us here too, as we could see exactly what the organist was doing, whilst hearing the capabilities of the St Mary’s organ. Parts of this piece are so beautiful one wants it to carry on and on....