ED2015 4/5 Reviews ED2015 Music Reviews

Bach Hours (Organists Whitehead, Wally And Harris With Tenor John Mark Ainsley)

By | Published on Monday 31 August 2015

Bach Hour

Tonight I sat in the darkened, hushed, cathedral of St Giles (with the jostling energy of the Royal Mile just feet away) listening to JS Bach’s ‘Orgelbüchline’, interspersed with specially commissioned pieces. This was the third part of this ambitious project, played, for this hour only, by St Giles’ own organist Michael Harris. The mighty instrument’s sound shimmered and filled the cathedral with triumph. A particular highlight was the sublime singing of John Mark Ainsley, whose diction and tone matched the pieces perfectly. Also the Olivier Messiaen homage ‘Alle Menschen müssen sterben’, composed by Thomas Neal, which is rather ironic because church organist and composer Messiaen did not like Bach’s music. Fortunately, I do, and I felt privileged to enjoy this marvellous concert.

St Giles Cathedral, 24 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Louise Rodgers]