Friday 16 February 2018
7:30 pm • £12
J S Bach Clavier-Übung Part III
Clavier-Übung Part III
A special opportunity to hear the whole of Bach's Clavier-Übung Part III (German Organ Mass)
The organ recital given on Friday 16th February by the sub organist of Guildford Cathedral Richard Moore, can best be described as an intellectual feast for lovers of J.S.Bach and for the organ cognoscenti in particular.
Bach`s Clavier-Ubung III, is the third of four books. Ubung literally means keyboard practice. Written in 1735 and referred to as the German Organ Mass, it is a mighty compendium of some of the most difficult and contrapuntally complicated of Bach`s works. Put simply, the Prelude is the "St Anne" fugue in E flat and the conclusion is another fugue in five parts of virtuosic difficulty, also in E flat. However, in between, are the usual religious Kyries, Glorias, Creeds and Chorales, all of which are enhanced musically by the genius of an unsurpassed master who was able to exploit fully the different keys available thanks to the relatively "equal temperament" tuning of the organ of his day.
Richard Moore is a musician and organist well able to tackle a work of this complexity as a glance at his c.v. proves. Completely in command throughout this ninety minute tour de force, he displayed a formidably clean and powerful technique together with consummate musicianship. Despite the extreme difficulty of the fugal writing and harmonic texture, every part was clear, articulate and the many pedal passages in particular were exemplary. He also proved to be adept at describing the music and explaining its complexity in a manner which was scholarly yet understandable.
Although limited, the audience was highly appreciative, well versed in the subject and prepared to be immersed in the fine detail of the music to the extent that some on arrival were seen clutching hefty scores -- surely the sign of a true devotee !
Richard Moore read Music as Organ Scholar of St John’s College, Oxford, where he was responsible for the Chapel music programme, from playing for chapel liturgies to looking after the 2008 Aubertin organ. In September 2011 Richard took up a place at the Royal College of Music, studying Organ with David Graham, and in 2013 graduated from the MMus degree with distinction, attaining the Walford Davies prize in organ performance.
Until August 2014, Richard held the William and Irene Miller Organ Scholarship at St Paul's Cathedral, where, in addition to playing for services and training choristers, he also played at a number of important occasions, including the funeral of Baroness Thatcher. After leaving St Paul's, he spent a year as Acting Assistant Organist of St Martin-in-the-Fields, where he accompanied the three principal choirs in a varied liturgical and concert programme, and on Radio 3 and 4. A highlight of his time at St Martin’s was the service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, which took place in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family, and was broadcast on BBC television. He currently pursues a varied freelance career, based in London, including concerts and recordings with Ellie Lovegrove as the Trumpet and Organ duo Illumina.