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Cambridge Chapel Marathon

I'm tempted to describe the five hours I spent this Sunday in Cambridge chapels listening to my own music as a "marathon", and it may have been for one or two of the performers. But for me of course, listening to excellent performances one after another was nothing but a pleasure, and the quick trot up the street from King's to Trinity hardly an exertion.


I began my afternoon in King's Chapel listening to Tom Winpenny's organ recital, which included my recent St Albans Festival competition piece St Alban. Sitting back hearing music in that beautiful building is anyway close to nirvana, and throughout his recital, Tom revealed some extraordinarily delicate sounds from the chapel organ, colours I'd never heard before.


Then along to Trinity to hear Harrison Cole playing four more of my organ works in his own recital. This was a so far unique experience for me to hear my own organ music as a "catalogue". And on a quite different organ from the one I'd heard half an hour earlier, with its gripping mean-tone tuning. You can hear Harrison's very fine version of Ettrick Banks here.


Finally, Trinity College Choir directed by Steven Grahl sang my Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in their Evensong service (the whole thing can be heard here) which also included a  lovely performance of a blue true dream of sky . Before the service I also heard the choir rehearse my George Herbert suite, Vertue, which would be coming up in a future service. Trying to find an adjective to describe the sound of this deservedly famous choir, I think it has to be "gorgeous". I occasionally reflect that when I was a student at Cambridge, I only heard my own music performed on two occasions in three years as a music student (one was at an organ recital) so an afternoon like this meant a lot to me.


Pictured - Tennyson's statue in Trinity College's Antechapel.







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