New Organist Harry Jacques demonstrates his digital finesse

The second of our Lunchtime series saw newly appointed Oakham organist, Harry Jacques, give a blindingly impressive organ recital.

Starting with J. S. Bach’s Toccata in C (BWV 564), Mr Jacques demonstrated all the staples of an organist’s repertoire: rapid scales on both manuals and an entire section just on the pedals (the longest known pedal introduction) before firing straight into motivic counterpoint.  So much had happened by the end that it was hard to remember it was all one piece.

Next was Prelude, Fugue et Variation by Franck.  This longer, melody focussed piece was well complimented by what came before, starting with a delicate, beautiful and pastoral tune.  Before the audience could settle into it too comfortably, the piece broke into a sophisticated, Bach-like fugue which was once again followed by a delicate melody before finishing just as quietly as it begun.

Mr Jacques finished his piece with further contrast for good measure, performing a harmonically (and technically) difficult piece by Langlais, Dialogue sur les Mixtures.  The piece breaks out straight into a modern fanfare, interluded with sudden moments of calm and quiet.  The largest of these sudden changes in sections is interrupted by the return of the original refrain which gets marginally more embellished on its return, never allowing the audience to second guess.  Ending with a chord as loud and triumphant as the recital itself, Mr Jacques passes the Lunchtime series baton onto the students who begin their performances next week!

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