Barclay Viewforth Church congregation on Blackford Hill

Organ Recital – a master class

The following post is from Katy Gray who attended the recital last night.

On the evening of Friday 20th June a large audience gathered at the church for an organ recital, part of the 150th anniversary of Barclay.  Dr John Kitchen was the guest organist, an extremely talented musician who is a lecturer and organist at Edinburgh University as well as Edinburgh City organist. We were treated to 8 different pieces of music from Bach and Handel to Scottish folk melodies. The introduction to each piece was given with humour and let the audience know what to listen out for. Dr Kitchen played with enthusiasm and there were smiles at the sweeping arm movements which added to the performance. We all enjoyed the final piece, a toccata composed for the wedding of a couple who liked cycling. The tune cleverly featured the melody for a bicycle made for two and I believe Dennis has received a request to play this on a Sunday morning!  Thanks to Moray Rumney for filming the organist and projecting this onto the big screen. I think we all benefitted from seeing the talent of Dr Kitchen swapping between the 3 keyboards at the same time as coordinating pedals. One piece in particular involved so many different pedals that it was a dance for the feet which would have been hard enough to do without the hands also busy with the melodies.  When the organ was at full power the sound was incredible and really filled the whole building. It made us truly understand the expression “pull out all the stops”! It is great to celebrate the organ and I’m sure there will more organ recitals over the next 150 years!


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