Hastings All Saints Organ Series 2022 – 3 Simon Hogan 25th July


A well constructed programme with a balance of well known and less familiar music and fine performances from a very talented organist on this wonderful instrument made for another very enjoyable evening at  All Saints’.

Simon Hogan currently enjoys a freelance career, as well as dividing his time with posts in London and Oxford. He began with a piece which was new to me, Fiesta, by E L Diemer.   This lively, Latin-inspired piece with contrasting sections, set the scene very well. The rest of the opening half was made up with mostly well-known French music by Bonnet, Franck, Verne and Gigout. A particular highlight for me – and for others I spoke with – was the hauntingly melancholic Prelude, Fugue & Variations by Cesar Franck. Vierne’s lively Carillon de Westminster brought the first half to a close.

The second half opened with a lesser known Bach composition – Concerto in C. It was followed by a rare outing for a substantial and quite individual piece by the sadly recently deceased (but long-lived!) Francis Jackson, Toccata, Chorale & Fugue. I have said on many other occasions that it is good that more recent music such as this and the opening piece are given room in these concerts. The remainder of the music all had associations with the Coronation. All very well known, it began with Walton’s Crown Imperial (in which we saw some particularly skillful and numerous registration changes executed by Mrs Hogan, as she had assisted throughout) and ended with a spirited performance of Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance No 1. 

A beautifully registered rendition of an additional Walton piece, Popular Song from ‘Facade’, was given by Simon as a fitting encore bringing this highly satisfying concert to a close.

The series continues for the next few weeks. Details from www.oldtownparishhastings.org.uk

Stephen Page


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