<< -- 3 -- Basil Ramsey DRIVING FORCE
The setting of a vast cathedral with sun streaming in through stained
glass was a perfect backcloth for music on a summer's evening. It lifted
the spirit and consequently lifted the performances well above routine.
The rarely-heard Haydn symphony has the composer delighting in the unexpected,
consequently is full of twists pulling our ears and raising a smile as the
master displays his skill. William Fong's playing of the Mozart concerto
had a similar halo of excellence as his performance was of the music in
development rather than mere delicate patterning.
Back to Cambridge and Trinity College Chapel a few days later brought
Anne Page to play Bach's Clavierübung Part III on the colourful
Metzler organ. This collection proclaims Bach's spirit of adventurous
exploration with both textures and harmonic movement, coupled with his almost
inscrutable use of symbolism, and the tripartite construction of the great
Prelude and Fugue in E flat with which we enter and depart the Clavierübung.
This would seem the summation of his achievement in organ music. For
the player there's no compromise: the music demands technical skill,
a comprehension of the thought behind each movement, and the ability to
shape it physically. Anne Page gave us an excellent account. For me some
of the preludes were less convincing, either in colour or tempi - all
matters for individual choice. It is quite a remarkable journey for the
listener who perseveres with this monumental work.
Copyright © 17 August 2000
Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK
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