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Elgar’s Organ Sonata: An illustrated talk by Dr Martin Firth


Thu 24 Sep 2020    
7:30 pm - 8:45 pm

Martin, who a number of you will know is a leading expert on Elgar and his music, has very kindly agreed to present a talk on the Elgar Organ Sonata. Elgar’s writing for the organ is instinctively coloured by his orchestral thinking – giving rise to it being termed his ‘Symphony No. 0’. This will be examined along with the influences which shaped the work including Elgar’s experiences as an organist, the organ he played at St. George’s church in Worcester, the influence of the ground breaking organ builder Robert Hope-Jones (who later went to the USA and was key to the development of Wurlitzer theatre organs) and the new Worcester Cathedral organ at that time which he built.

The talk will be presented over Zoom and include musical illustrations including playing by Herbert Sumsion on the Gloucester Cathedral organ pre-Ralph Downes rebuild, and Andrew Dewar on the 1888 Cavaille-Coll organ in the American Cathedral, Paris.

The talk will conclude with a full performance of the Sonata by Simon Preston recorded in the Colston Hall with score on screen.