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Friday 8 Oct 2021

7:30 pm • £12

Anthony Gritten


Music by J.S.Bach, Schumann, Widor, Roth, Kunc, Caldecote, Tann & Jackson

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685‑1750)

from Leipzig Chorales (1710-14 & 1739-42): two settings of ‘Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott’

I BWV 651: Fantasia
II BWV 652: Alio modo

Robert Schumann (1810‑1856)

Sechs Studien in kanonischer Form op. 56 (1845)

I Nicht zu schnell: C major
II Mit innigem Ausdruck: A minor
III Andantino: E major
IV Innig: Ab major
V Nicht zu schnell: B minor
VI Adagio: B major

Charles-Marie Widor (1844‑1937)

Trois Nouvelles Pièces op. 87 (1934)

I Classique d'hier
II Mystique
III Classique d'aujourd'hui

Daniel Roth (b. 1942)

Joie, Douleur, et Gloire de Marie (1990)

Pierre Kunc (1865‑1941)

Grand Pièce Symphonique (1901)

— Interval —

Laurence Caldecote (born 1983)

Variations on ‘Victimae Paschali Laudes’ (2021)

Hilary Tann (born 1947)

Pinnae Ventorum (2003)

Francis Jackson (born 1917)

Five Preludes on English Hymn Tunes (1987)

I St. Magnus
II Veni Sancte Spiritus: Homage to JSB
III St. Bartholomew
IV East Acklam
V Fantasy on Sine Nomine


All our concerts are held in the church at 83 Portsmouth Road.

The main entrance to the free parking is in Millmead Terrace which is accessed from Bury Fields at the end of Lawn Road.


Anthony Gritten’s organ recital on 8th October was sadly extremely poorly attended. However, this didn’t seem to bother Anthony, who gave an excellent recital, containing a considerable amount of music which was unfamiliar to the small but appreciative audience.

He began with two contrasting chorale preludes by J.S. Bach on the Lutheran hymn-tune ‘Come, Holy Ghost’. The first presents the tune majestically in the pedals against a continuous running manual part, whilst the second decorates the tune, which is played on a characterful solo stop, contrasting with a murmuring, prayer-like texture in the other parts.

Next, we heard Schumann’s six Canonic Studies, short pieces clearly influenced by Bach, whose dry title belies their charm and variety. Widor’s ‘Trois Nouvelles Pièces’, his last composition, were written at the astonishing age of 90. The first looked towards the past, but the third was was definitely of its day, and one wonders how the composer’s musical language would have developed had he lived even longer. One of Widor’s successors at Saint-Sulpice in Paris, Daniel Roth, and one of his colleagues, Pierre Kunc, provided the next two items: the Kunc piece made a particular impression with its economic use of attractive material.

After the interval we heard a very recent set of variations by the young British composer Laurence Caldecote featuring different techniques in an appealing way. Following a short piece from 2003 by the Welsh composer Hilary Tann, Anthony concluded with a set of Five Preludes on English Hymn Tunes by Francis Jackson, formerly organist of York Minster, who makes even Widor look like a youngster: he has just published his latest work, completed just before his 104th birthday!

Anthony’s fine playing was complemented by his lively and engaging introductions to his programme. It was just a shame that more people were not there to hear him: but it was good to be able to welcome a new member to the Music Society!

Gillian Lloyd


Anthony is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and studied with Harry Gabb, David Sanger, and Anne Page. He gave the first complete performance of Daniel Roth’s magnum opus, Livre d’Orgue pour le Magnificat, and has performed four times in St. Sulpice, Paris, including a recital as part of Roth’s 70th birthday celebrations. He has also performed numerous works by Richard Francis, including the premiere of a four-movement symphony on themes by Lefébure-Wély. Other projects have included anniversary performances of the complete works of Tunder, Buxtehude (a 6½ hour recital), Homilius, Brahms, and Mendelssohn. Many of Anthony's recitals are listed at organrecitals.com/anthonygritten .

Anthony was an organ scholar and research student at Cambridge University, writing his doctorate on Stravinsky. He has worked at the University of East Anglia, the Royal Northern College of Music, and Middlesex University, and is currently Head of Undergraduate Programmes at the Royal Academy of Music. His publications include two books on Music and Gesture, essays on the musics of Balakirev, Cage, Debussy, Delius, Goehr, Holloway, Roth, and Stravinsky, and numerous articles on issues in Performance Studies. Many of his publications can be downloaded from ram.academia.edu/AnthonyGritten .