Music by Handel, Wesley, Parry, Smart, Bridge, Whitlock, Britten & Corp
Handel, arr. J Walsh
Concerto in B flat (Op. 4, No. 2)
Three pieces for a musical clock
Larghetto in F sharp minor
Fantasia & Fugue in G Major
Postlude in C Major
Adagio in E Major
Fantasy-Choral No. 2
Voluntary on 'Tallis' Lamentation'
Friday, 8th September saw the return visit after a number of years of the concert organist Daniel Moult. A highly gifted musician and an ebullient extrovert personality, his character was ably reflected in his playing which gave us great pleasure throughout the concert.
A long an interesting programme started with the B flat Op.4 Concerto by Handel, where after a slow introduction, the music turns to a lively allegro and Daniel`s ability to produce very smooth playing with many expressive contrasts was soon evident.
More Handel followed with three pieces for a musical clock played on the flutes after which two compositions by Samuel Wesley, the first being a stately and powerfully fugal "Choral Song" and the second, a wistful "Larghetto"in Fsharp minor.
Parry`s G major " Fantasia and Fugue" leading us up to the interval, proved to be Brahms like in character with much florid writing before finishing with another very powerful fugue splendidly handled by our organ which in the right hands is second to none.
After a well earned respite, Daniel played a short "Postlude" by Henry Smart and then the wonderful "Adagio" by Frank Bridge. Perhaps not to everybody`s taste, it is to me, a magnificently expressive composition which starts as a whisper and builds up very gradually to a climax of extreme loudness before dying away again to a murmur. In this and the following "Fantasy-Choral" by Percy Whitlock we could appreciate the organist`s masterly control of the tapestry of contrapuntal sound and of the subtle blend of registrations that were at his command.
The last two pieces were Benjamin Britten`s Voluntary on "Tallis` Lamentation" with typically powerful atonal writing and apparently accidentally discovered in a drawer in 1940, and finally "Festivo", written especially for Daniel by his friend, Ronald Corp. This was a very dynamic and rhythmic composition with fast running passages and certainly removed any remaining cobwebs from the organ pipes that might still have been lurking therein!
This was undoubtedly a most stimulating recital by a musician who has been rightly described as "one of the finest organists of our time", a title with which we are happy to concur.
Daniel Moult, “one of the finest organists of our time” (The Organ), is renowned in the UK and abroad for virtuosic, intelligent and engaging performances of repertoire from the 14th to the 21st centuries. His musicianship has been praised as “exhilarating” (Gramophone), “dazzling” (The Organ), and “formidable” (Organists’ Review). He has pioneered the use of film as a means of promoting organ music, and has presented and performed in two DVD releases, Virtuoso! Music for Organ, a film featuring some of the most demanding 20th century repertoire, and The Elusive English Organ, a journey through English organ music from 1550 to 1830. He is currently preparing the sequel, The Imperial English Organ, which will continue the story through the 19th and into the 20th century. He has made several CDs, the most recent of which is the first solo recording of the newly restored organ of Arundel Cathedral, released by Regent Records in Autumn 2014.
As a concert artist, Daniel performs throughout the UK, Europe, Australia and Singapore. As a soloist he has appeared in major series in various UK cathedrals, churches, concert halls and town halls – including The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Huddersfield Town Hall and The Albert Hall, Nottingham – and in many European festivals and concert rooms – including Caen, Roros (Norway) and Madrid. Recent ensemble appearances include playing Mozart’s organ music as part of the Mozart Unwrapped festival at King’s Place in London, concerts celebrating Handel with the London Early Opera Orchestra, and tours of France and Switzerland with Kammerorchester Basel. In June 2014 he was the artist in residence at Sydney Grammar School, performing Poulenc's organ concerto, and he will return to Australia in 2016.
Born in Manchester, Daniel studied at Oxford (where he gained the Fellowship diploma of the Royal College of Organists with three of the top playing prizes and was jointly awarded the University of Oxford John Betts Organ Scholarship) and the Amsterdam Conservatorium. Previous posts include visiting organ tutor at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, seven years as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral, and five years as Artistic Director of The London Organ Day. He is a sought after educator, and teaches through the RCO Organ School, on many masterclasses, workshops and courses around the world, as well as maintaining regular positions at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Wells Cathedral School and The Royal College of Music Junior Department. He is a trustee of the Royal College of Organists, for which he also examines. He has published several editions, including the Easy Bach Album and the upcoming Easy Handel Album with Bärenreiter and the Complete Church Organist, volumes 1 and 2, with RSCM Publications. His articles on performance practice and performance-related topics have appeared in various music journals.
Based in London, Daniel is in demand as a soloist and accompanist, broadcasts frequently on BBC Television and Radio and has recorded for various record labels including Fugue State, Sony BMG and Radio Netherlands. www.danielmoult.com
“My only caveat was that I wanted more.” (The Sydney Organ Journal)
“This is eloquently articulated, well-paced playing, which reaches far. Moult’s performance of Purcell’s Double Organ Voluntary in D minor is lovely in its maturity and flexibility” (Review of The Elusive English Organ in Organists’ Review)
“To the lay observer, he risks making it all look deceptively easy; but this is a DVD that serious students of the organ will want to revisit for an object lesson in the unfussy performance of some fiendishly difficult repertoire...” (Review of Virtuoso! in Choir and Organ)