Monday 21st May
Just back from a busy weekend. Played a recital (Couperin—with Nivers chant—and Franck) on the wonderful Dobson at Merton College Oxford on Saturday, then zoomed over to Cambridge on Sunday morning to give an all-Couperin recital on the glorious Metzler at Trinity College before Evensong. I had prepared for Trinity the previous week as the organ is a real challenge to register and all needed to be prepared and marked up in advance. I couldn’t have been made more welcome by directors of music Benjamin Nicholas and Stephen Layton, to whom I owe many thanks for the invitations and their abundant hospitality. Here are photos of both venues.
Wednesday 9th May
It’s not every day that one discovers an organ hidden behind a wall for a generation, but that’s what happened to me on 9th May. The former Great Yarmouth Grammar School (now Great Yarmouth Charter Academy) has a fine 1960/1991 Williamson & Hyatt organ bricked up in its hall since the mid 1990s but now revealed and ripe for cleaning. It will come up a treat.
Tuesday 1st May
On 1st May Anne and I enjoyed the life-enhancing experience of Simon Rattle conducting (using no score) the LSO in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, at Symphony Hall in Birmingham—the hall Sir Simon himself brought into being during his glorious years with the CBSO. Notwithstanding the five-star review The Times had given its Barbican performance the previous week, nothing could have prepared us adequately for the impact of this masterwork, played by the greatest of the UK’s orchestras in the finest UK hall, under the most sensitive imaginable direction of the UK’s leading conductor. It doesn’t come any better than that. The photo was taken just before Sir Simon entered.