Sunday 19th May
It's been a while since I played the organ for an Organ Dedication service, so it was a special pleasure to do so at Barcheston today. The Bishop of Warwick dedicated the new organ—built by Henry Groves & Son in divided cases designed by the late Kenneth Tickell—and a glorious Choral Evensong was sung by a small choir of Oxford and London pros assembled and ably directed by Nigel Howells. This little Warwickshire country church will never before have experienced singing quite like that! A very happy occasion—as was the party which followed.
Sunday 12th May
This weekend Anne and I have been staying in Orford, on the east coast, in whose parish church Benjamin Britten conducted the first performance of Noyes Fludde and of his Church Parables. It now has a fine organ, the 3-manual Peter Collins formerly at Southampton University, restored by Cousans Organs, which looks and sounds as if it had been made for its new home. There were three major concerts: I played the first, followed by Bernhard Haas (performing from memory) and then Catherine Ennis, whose vivacious performance of the Poulenc Concerto (with Prometheus Orchestra) brought the house down. A truly memorable weekend.