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Friday 20 Feb 2015

7:30 pm • £8

Stephen Disley

sub-organist Southwark Cathedral

Handel, JS Bach, Guilmant, Karg-Elert, Thalben-Ball and Walton

Stephen Disley
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George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) arr. W T Best

Overture to the Occasional Oratorio

J S Bach (1685-1750)

Air on a G String from Orchestral Suite no. 3 in D Major

J S Bach

Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor (BWV 537)

Joseph Fiocco (1703-1741)

Arioso, Andante and Allegro

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Consolation in Db

Andrew Carter (1939- )

Three pieces for three stops

  • Cipher
  • Tuning Slides
  • Gremlins on the Great

L. C. Daquin (1694-1772)

Le Coucou

Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911)

March on a theme by Handel

Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933

Nun danket alle Gott

George Thalben-Ball (1896-1987)


Giovanni Battista Pescetti (1707-1766)

Sonata in C Minor

  • Allegro ma non Presto
  • Moderato
  • Presto

J S Bach

Pièce d’Orgue (Fantasia in G) BWV 572

Guy Bovet (1942- )

Le Bolèro du Divin Mozart

William Walton (1902-1983)

Crown Imperial


Yet another fine organist visited us on Friday 20th. February when Stephen Disley gave an interesting and unusual recital mostly from the classical repertory. As assistant organist at Southwark Cathedral we were expecting a first class musician and he certainly lived up to our expectations.

Before commencing with a powerful rendering of Handel`s "Overture to the Occasional Oratorio", Stephen talked about his programme in an interesting and informative way--- always a good idea before a concert. Two pieces of " mandatory" J.S.Bach followed; the well known "Air on a G string" and the lesser known "Fantasia and Fugue in C minor BWV 537.

Among the other items in the first half was an attractive and somewhat quirky piece in three parts by Andrew Carter entitled "Three pieces for three stops" and " Le Coucou",originally a charming piano composition by Louis-Claude Daquin. The Liszt D flat "Consolation" I felt was not so successful as played on the organ, much better as originally written for the piano. Finally, Stephen chose to close the first half with a lively reference to more Handel,- a March on a Handel theme by Alexandre Guilmant.

The second part started with "Nun danket alle Gott" by Karg-Elert and included Thalben Ball`s famous "Elergy", a very attractive short sonata by Giovanni Battista Pescetti originally written for harpsichord, another "Piece d`Orgue" by J.S.Bach written in three parts and brilliantly played with a fluent technique.

This second organ recital this season ended in fine style with an exciting rendering of William Walton`s "Crown Imperial" and was followed by prolonged applause befitting this celebrated musician whose career has brought him world wide acclaim.


Stephen Disley

STEPHEN DISLEY studied organ at Liverpool Cathedral with Ian Tracey before winning a joint Foundation Scholarship to the Royal College of Music and London's Temple Church, studying with Dr John Birch. He won many prizes and awards, studied further under Daniel Roth at Saint-Sulpice in Paris and has performed in prestigious masterclasses.

As a recitalist and accompanist, Stephen appears frequently at the Royal Albert Hall and has played at all of the UK's major venues. He has performed and broadcast with ensembles such as the the Holst Singers, the Finzi Singers, Onyx Brass, the Budapest Radio Choir, and the BBC Singers – including the newly-released recording of "Choir Book for The Queen", conducted by Stephen Cleobury. Other performances include Poulenc's Organ Concerto with the London Mozart Players, Janacek's Glagolitic Mass in the Montepulciano Festival, and regular Organ Galas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). He recently performed with the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Enrico Batiz. In 2014, Stephen is appearing with the RPO at the Royal Festival Hall in two concerts marking the restoration of the Hall's organ.

Stephen is Sub-Organist at Southwark Cathedral and Founding Director of its Girls' Choir which, in addition to its weekly commitments at the cathedral, has undertaken tours to Bergen, Rouen, the Czech Republic, Rome, and Belfast. The Choir has made three CD recordings, all of which have received excellent reviews, the most recent including works commissioned for the Girls' Choir.

He has appeared as organist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. In May 2008, Stephen appeared alongside Cantabile and Josh Groban in the Tim Rice/ABBA musical "Chess in Concert" at the Royal Albert Hall. This extraordinary event was released on DVD by Warner Brothers. He has also performed and recorded premiers of music by Judith Bingham, Bob Chilcott, Gabriel Jackson, Tarick O'Regan and others. Stephen has been involved with the John Armitage Memorial Trust (JAM) since 2008 and is an instrumental tutor at the City of London School.