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Celebrity Recitals 2023 – 1 (Matthew Owens)

By | Published on Tuesday 8 August 2023

The Scottish premier of new organ work ‘Fifty Preludes and Fugues Book 2′ by composer Howard Skempton was intriguing. Seated in medieval St Giles’ Cathedral we watched a live stream from the organ loft of Owens introducing and playing this piece that he commissioned from Skempton through crowd funding. The 50 miniature organ pieces often lasted less than two minutes each and all stopped mid phrase – so how did they end? That was up to the individual listener’s imagination. There are few new ideas in music but this came close, like listening to a teenager surfing a streaming service. The pieces themselves were varied and pretty; simply and wonderfully played. Owens chatted with us afterwards – a personal and friendly recital.

St Giles’ Cathedral, run ended (Celebrity Recitals 2 and 3, with different organists, take place on 9 + 16 Aug).
tw rating 5/5 | [Louise Rodgers]