Cathedral Music – Lunchtime Organ Recital
Wednesday 15 February 2023 – 1 pm to 1:45 pm
On Wednesday 15 February, we were very pleased to welcome Alexander Knight to Brentwood Cathedral for a lunchtime Organ Recital.
Alexander began with Bach’s unmistakable Fantasia and Fugue, a piece played with such artistic sensitivity and technical command, that we could all simply relax and just enjoy this wonderful music.
The mood then abruptly changed with Alexander’s next piece by César Franck. It felt almost as if an enormous brooding beast had been released from the organ to prowl around the Cathedral growling at us in rather challenging tones.
Then we were given the Triptyque by Langlais, which began gently enough, with quietly meandering notes as if wandering through a shaded woodland glade, until we arrived at the Scherzo, when one felt that hoards of hyperactive woodland nymphs had appeared, rushing hither and thither through the scene. The Triptyque concluded with the Finale, which utterly transformed the atmosphere from the chaotic joy of the Scherzo to seriously-applied order, as if a very strong-willed teacher had suddenly arrived at the sort of juvenile riot sometimes seen in schools. All was finally brought to a conclusion with a magnificently authoritative chord on the wonderful Cathedral organ.
Our sincere thanks go to Alexander for giving us such a varied and entertaining lunchtime recital.
|J.S. Bach (1685-1750)||Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (BWV 542)|
|César Franck (1822-1890)||Fantaisie in A major|
|Jean Langlais (1907-1991)||Triptyque (Op. 78)|
Stop Press: Many congratulations to Alexander, who, we hear, has just been awarded the prestigious
Fellowship Diploma from the Royal College of Organists (FRCO).
Alexander Knight combines a bustling freelance career as an organist, pianist, conductor, continuo player, music producer and teacher with his posts of Organist and Director of Music at St Mary Magdalene, Richmond, and Musical Director for the Canbury Singers and the Treble Chefs. At St Mary Magdalene, Alexander has developed the choir in quality, size and scope, founding the Choral Foundation which provides support for choral and organ scholars and a junior choir, and establishing the monthly music recital series.
Alexander is currently studying at the Royal College of Music for a Master in Performance in organ with David Graham and Andrew Dewar, with his second study in piano with Nigel Clayton. In 2018, Alexander was awarded his Associateship Diploma from the Royal College of Organists, winning the Sawyer/Durrant, Sowerbutts/Durrant and Samuel Baker prizes.
Alexander previously held posts at Southwark Cathedral as Harry Coles Organ Scholar, Queens’ College, Cambridge as Organ Scholar, and St Mary’s Whitchurch as Organist and Director of Music. Alexander read Music at Cambridge University between 2012 and 2015, performed and toured with Queens’ College Choir around the UK, Hong Kong, France, Budapest and Switzerland, and featured on their album ‘For The Wings of a Dove’. Whilst at Cambridge, he performed with CUMS Chorus, conducted by Sir Stephen Cleobury, and with pop band Bastille as part of the Centenary Queens’ May Ball.
Alexander has given organ recitals at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral St George’s Hanover Square, as well as at Kensington Palace in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex in a fundraising event for Shooting Star Children’s Hospice. Other recent highlights include conducting Vaughan Williams’s ‘Dona nobis pacem’ and ‘Five Mystical Songs’ with the Prince Consort Sinfonia and Canbury Singers, and performing Vaughan Williams’s ‘Sea Symphony’ with the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Adrian Partington. Later this year, Alexander is looking forward to conducting Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, as well as continuing to perform organ and piano recitals around the UK.
Admission is free, but we welcome your contribution towards our expenses. If you are a UK tax payer please consider using Gift Aid to increase the value of your donation by a quarter.