Tuesday May 21st‘s concert was only the second one I have been able to attend out of Philip Scriven’s seven organ recitals in which he will play the complete organ works of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Schumann. This time only two ‘home team’ audience members (myself and Sheila Varley) were able to stay the full hour but there were over two dozen visiting organ enthusiasts, for whom these recitals are intended. Thus I hope this web-site posting might alert some local parents to join us to swell the numbers for the remaining recital on June 4th.
This recital series is cleverly planned and gave us over 45 minutes of music preceded by ten minutes of helpful and illuminating introduction from the organist. We heard the last of Schumann’s Canonic Studies, some early Brahms, and the imposing bookends of the programme were the Mendelssohn Sonata no. 6 and Schumann’s final B.A.C.H. fugue. Despite a recent hand operation, Philip Scriven was in great form, fleet of finger and foot and his skills were recognised enthusiastically by the cognoscenti. To their delight Phil announced a further Tuesday series next year, this time of one-off varied programmes, following the cycles of this and last year. I do hope local parents who are free at lunchtime will put those dates in the diary and encourage their children to pop in, even for just one piece: our organist is as valuable a treasure as Mander organ itself.
I might add that on Friday 21st June Jeremy Filsell, one of the world’s leading organists, returns to Cranleigh (where he taught in the 1980s). He is currently artist-in-residence at the Washington National Cathedral. Not to be missed!