Making a return visit after her well-received previous concert Francesca Massey brought an interesting programme and fine performances throughout the evening.
Three pieces by Joseph Jongen – Cantabile, Pensee d’Automne and Scherzetto – featured some sparkling registrations which are characteristic of this particular composer’s style. Sweelinck’s Fantasia Chromatica gave a good example of the complexities of early (16th C) repertoire. Rheinberger’s Sonata No 16 and Brahms Fugue in A flat brought some solid 19th Century German Romantic fare.
The evening began with two brilliant 20th Century pieces based on well known hymn tunes – Egil Hovland’s Toccata on Nu la oss take Gud (Now thank we all or God) and John Joubert’s Chorale Prelude on the ‘Old Hundredth’. A further 20th Century work – Whitlock’s Plymouth Suite brought the programme to a stylish end with its contrasting movements ending in the partially understated Toccata.
A lovely fun encore in the shape of an excerpt from Ian Farrington’s Animal Parade brought the evening to a close.
Next week – the final concert in the 2023 series – Gordon Stewart, concert organist.