Announcing recital programmes for July – September 2016

We are delighted to announce the full programmes for this summer’s series of three lunchtime Organ Recitals given on the magnificent Moot Hall Organ, recently restored with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Friends of the Moot Hall Organ. Listen to this splendid instrument whilst enjoying the ambiance of Colchester’s elegant Town Hall.

Admission is free, with a retiring collection in aid of The Friends of the Moot Hall Organ

1pm, Tuesday 5th July 2016: Peter Crompton, Organist Emeritus, the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook

The German Connection

Georgi Aleksandrovich Mushel (1909-1989), a Russian composer also well known as an artist, whose paintings were exhibited in Germany.

Sketch in D flat
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Fantasia in G major BWV 572
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

Fantasia & Fugue on BACH
Franz Liszt (1811–1886), a Hungarian composer whose piece is based on the German composer’s name BACH – B flat A C B natural.

Chorale-Prelude ‘Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen’
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)

Toccata on ‘Vom Himmel hoch’
Garth Edmundson (1892-1971), an American composer who based this Toccata on the German Lutheran Chorale.

Paul Otto Manz (1919-2009), an American organist and composer who studied with Helmut Walcha in Germany.

The Ride of the Valkyries
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

1pm Tuesday 2nd August 2016: Ian Ray, Borough Organist

Variations on a Theme

Variations on ‘Mein junges Leben hat ein End’
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)

Ciacona in C minor BWV 159
Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Variations in F minor Hob XVII:6
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Variations in D major
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)

Berceuse Opus 57
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

Thema met variaties
Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981)

1pm Tuesday 6th September 2016: Ian Ray, Borough Organist with Oliver Ray (cello)

Papa Franck

Prelude, Fugue and Variation Opus 18
Cesar Franck (1822-1890)

Sonata in A major (Allegretto ben moderato – Allegro – Recitativo-Fantasia – Allegretto poco mosso; 1886)
Cesar Franck

Choral no 3 in A minor
Cesar Franck


Peter Crompton received the honorary title of Organist Emeritus on his retirement as Director of Music at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, where he presided over the magnificent organ of the enormous chapel for nearly forty years. As a recitalist and accompanist, Peter has appeared at many major venues including St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Liverpool Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall where he has played for The British Legion Festival of Remembrance, broadcast on BBC radio and television for nearly twenty years. He has also performed at many other cathedrals and concert venues throughout the country and abroad. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and 3 and has made several CD recordings. The latest entitle ‘Encore’ on the Regent label has received high praise. Peter was recently the subject of the popular ITV programme ‘Surprise, Surprise’ playing the Wurlitzer organ of the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool made so famous by the legendary Reginal Dixon.

Ian Ray was appointed as Colchester’s Honorary Borough Organist in 1988 which involves him presiding at the Moot Hall Organ for the annual Mayor-Making ceremony and the Oyster Feast as well as playing for a variety of miscellaneous cultural, social and official civic events. Born in Hendon, North London, his family moved to nearby Dedham and he was educated at Dedham C of E Primary School and later in Colchester at the Gilberd School on North Hill. He gained his FRCO as a young man studying with Douglas Mews and Douglas Hawkridge and soon became well known in East Anglia as an organist, conductor, singing coach and pianist, regularly performing in various concert series in Hertford, Harlow, Chelmsford, Long Melford and Ipswich as well as presenting recitals in various London churches and directing performances further afield in Prague, Rheims, Rouen, Wetzlar and Snape Maltings.

Ian has devoted much of his life to teaching and has recently retired after a distinguished career of 40 years as a lecturer in music at Colchester Institute. Since 1969 he has been Director of Music at Lion Walk Church where he runs a popular lunchtime concert series. His passionate commitment to stimulating the musical life of Colchester is further evidenced by his work since 1976 as conductor of the town’s Choral Society, in which role he has been responsible for bringing a large number of eminent singers and instrumentalists to perform the major choral works as well as commissioning new compositions. Last October he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Essex in recognition of his services to music in Colchester and the surrounding area. Future plans include regular work as an organist, conductor, accompanist and pianist and a recording of popular organ music on the Moot Hall Organ

Oliver Ray started playing the cello at the age of nine studying with Percy Crozier. He graduated as a BA(Hons) in Music with performance as his major option studying with Martin Thomas at Colchester Institute where he won several prizes. He gained a Postgraduate Diploma in solo/ensemble playing at the Royal College of Music where he studied with the Russian virtuoso Leonid Gorokov. Chamber music is Oliver’s special passion. He plays an Italian cello made around 1750.