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Friday 7 June 2013

7:30 pm • £8

Martin Ford

Assistant Organist, Westminster Abbey

Lübeck, JS Bach, White, Bull, Byrd, Handel, Mendelssohn, Franck, Pierné, Duruflé & Elgar

Martin Ford

Photo: By kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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Programme:

Vincent Lübeck

Praeludium in E

Johann Sebastian Bach

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr BWV 662

Three Early English Pieces

Robert White

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr BWV 662

John Bull

A Gigge (‘Myselfe’)

William Byrd

Fantasia in A

George Frederic Handel

Organ Concerto in F major, Op 4 no 5

Felix Mendelssohn

Prelude and Fugue in G, Op 37 no 2

César Franck

Pièce Heroïque from Trois Pièces

Gabriel Pierné

Cantilène from Trois Pièces Op 29

Maurice Duruflé

Chant donné en homage à Jean Gallonx

Maurice Duruflé

Méditation

Edward Elgar

Pomp and Circumstance March No 4 in G

Review

Martin Ford is another "no nonsense" young organist, an epithet which was plainly apparent when he started his recital on the 7th June. Deputizing for Steven Disley who most unfortunately had broken his wrist, he immediately stamped his authority with a dynamic rendering of Vincent Lubeck`s E major " Praeludium" followed by J. S. Bach`s Choral Prelude "Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr" BWV 662. As a contrast ,three early English pieces followed-- Two Fantasies by Robert White and William Byrd, separated by a rather jolly "Gigge" entitled "Myself" in 3/4 time by Jphn Bull. Handel`s short but very attractive Organ Concerto in F op.4 no.5 and Mendelssohn`s "Prelude and Fugue" in G op.37 no.2 led up to the interval.

Apart from a rousing performance of Elgar`s "Pomp and Circumstance March " No4 to finish, the second half consisted of French music. Commencing with Cesar Franck`s "Piece Heroique" this expressed again the exciting,crisp and decisive playing so typical of this highly gifted musician who is the assistant organist at Westminster Abbey no less, and had only just taken an active part in the Queen`s Coronation 60th anniversary!

"Cantiline"op.29 by Gabriel Pierne and two pieces by Maurice Durufle --"Chant donne en hommage A Jean Gallon" (originally written as a harmony exercise) and "meditation" provided sensitive playing between the two extremes.

Another excellent concert given at very short notice, and one for which we are deeply indebted to this young artist for stepping in and giving us such a fine occasion.

P.B.

Biography:

Martin Ford is the Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey. After a year as Organ Scholar at Southwark Cathedral, combined with study at the Royal Academy of Music, he took up the Organ Scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford in 2005. Working under the direction of Bill Ives, he accompanied the choir in their daily services, BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, and CD recordings, including a release on the Harmonia Mundi label of the music of Maurice Duruflé. After graduating in 2008 with a first class degree in Music, he continued his studies at the Royal College of Music.

During his time at the Royal College of Music he was appointed Assistant Organist at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. In this role, he accompanied the choir for numerous BBC Radio broadcasts and a tour to the USA, before taking up his position at Westminster Abbey in January 2012. Currently taught by Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, his previous teachers have included David Sanger, Susan Landale, David Titterington and David Graham.

As a solo recitalist, Martin has performed at numerous notable venues, including St Paul’s Cathedral and Bourges Cathedral (France). He is also active as a piano accompanist, having learnt with Nigel Clayton and taken part in masterclasses with Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles and Malcolm Martineau at the Oxford Lieder Festival. He is a regular accompanist to the Vasari Singers, with whom he can be heard as part of a disc of Christmas music on the Naxos label, released in November 2012.

More recitals by Martin Ford on the organrecitals.com website