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An organ recital by Adrian Lucas
appreciated by TOM CORFIELD


Adrian Lucas [Derby Cathedral, UK, 16 August 2006] began his programme with the Variations de Concert of Bonnet, a virtuoso display piece complete with a dazzling pedal cadenza. Any suspicion, however, that this recital was to be all showmanship was immediately dispelled when Lucas turned to the Bach Variations on Sei gegrüsset. As he said in his introduction, Bach must have been inspired by the intense passion of the chorale text. He in his turn played the variations with great sensitivity, colouring each one while maintaining an admirable sense of continuity.

Mozart's Adagio and Allegro in F minor (one of the pieces Mozart wrote at the end of his life for a mechanical organ) benefited from unfussy tone colours in the slow outer sections whilst the central allegro had a rare sparkle and clarity. Thiman's Scherzetto for the Flutes was the perfect foil; over almost before it had begun, it brought a smile to many faces.

The recital ended with the great Sonata Eroica of Joseph Jongen. The rhetoric and virtuosity (not to mention the use of full organ) momentarily recalled the Bonnet and there was a sense in which the recital had come full circle. But this piece has the musical substance that the Bonnet lacks. Lucas captured with equal effectiveness its fire and drama and its moments of Gallic charm. The audience came away from the recital with impressions of masterly and very musical playing and with Jongen's haunting theme lingering in the memory.

Copyright © 29 August 2006 Tom Corfield, Derby UK





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