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<<  -- 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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