Sat 26th May 2012 will be a thrilling evening for music lovers with performances by Ian Tracey and Orchestra dell’Arte in the Heswall Church of Our Lady and St John.
The three items in this concert programme all feature the organ in some way; the Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 being the most famous and most frequently performed of all compositions for Orchestra with Organ. Several of the themes heard within the Symphony were later used in various film scores and in popular song. The grandeur of the original work will be evident during this very special evening right here in Heswall.
The Symphony No. 1 for Organ and Orchestra by Guilmant is another French work, written some ten years before the Saint-Saens and showing more of the traditional Baroque style and ecclesiastical origins of the organ.
The programme begins with the Festival Prelude composed in 1913 by Richard Strauss.
Professor Ian Tracey is one of Britain’s best known and most widely respected musicians, having been organist at the monumental Anglican Cathedral in his home town of Liverpool for over 30 years. His performances there on the famous ‘Willis’ organ – the largest in the UK – have thrilled the instrument’s thousands of fans around the world and met with praise from the critics. He holds several other official positions and combines them with a busy freelance career as a recitalist and conductor.
L’Orchestra dell’Arte is a group of highly talented musicians performing under the leadership of Edward Peak, who has conducted extensively with the RLPO and also with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and the Northern Chamber Orchestra. Edward is a frequent contributor as broadcaster and producer for BBC radio and television and is well known as a musicologist and arranger with many of his works being broadcast and recorded
The organ at Our Lady and St John was installed in 1984 off 19th century recovered pipe work with a specification inspired by the German Romantic school prevalent at the time. By 2007, following building work in the Church, it was in grave need of cleaning and, with the assistance of Messrs. Ellis-Scothon, Organ Builders of County Durham, extensive work was done. It has a staggering (for parish instruments) five layers of reeds, crowned with one of only two 8’ tuba stops on the Wirral. Because of the wide scaling of the 1984 pipe work and matching additions, the result is an English take on the French Romantic school, speaking with a thrilling voice, making a distinctive new contribution to the organ infrastructure of the Wirral and, aided by its west balcony position, generating a very “cathedral sound”.
Tickets £15 are available from April 28th at Linghams Booksellers, Telegraph Road, Heswall and after all weekend Masses at Our Lady & St John Catholic church, Telegraph Road, Heswall. Church pews can be rather hard – you might wish to bring a cushion.