Why do people flock to tribute concerts when real music is not hard to come by? The last in the organ recital series at Lichfield Cathedral showed yet again that a skilled player can thrill, entertain, fascinate and move an audience for barely a two-figure ticket price.
In this case the player in question was Peter Dyke from Hereford playing pieces on the Chorale theme.
The connection with hymn tunes shouldn’t put people off. There was music spanning four centuries starting with Max Reger, a man described in the programme notes as having a capacity for beer that surprised even the Germans, and the melody he presented in a multitude of variations.
The journey around Europe included Franck from Belgium, Bach from Germany, Jackson from England and Widor from France.
There could have been a temptation to play the toccata from Widor’s symphony No 5 which many people know, but instead it was the first movement which is less often heard but just as inspiring.
Maybe we could have had the toccata as an encore, but that is the one drawback of the cathedral organ – the altitude of the organ loft. No way could we expect an organist to descend to take well deserved applause then climb up to play again.