In the three and a half years since the Symphony Organ was completed, this magnificent and remarkably handsome instrument has become recognised for what it is, and attracts a relentless procession of serious organists to play it.
Jane Parker- Smith made a welcome return on Friday, with a well balanced programme of known and unknown pieces from the late 19th and early 20th century.
A programme from this exciting period of organ music would be nothing without the French masters, and Guilmant?s ineptly-named Morceau de Concert (Opus 24) set the scene with its wonderful Prelude, played with exact brilliance.
The four variations are very diverse in style, varying Tempi and construction and Parker-Smith?s creative use of the instrument amply highlighted the inventiveness of the piece, ending with a massive and sparkling fugal finale.
Vierne?s Romance from his fourth Symphony had lashings of Arpeggios, all immaculately handled, though the piece loses coherence in the middle, and rambles vaguely on before gathering itself for a stunning finale.
Widor?s Symphony No 7 in A-Minor, or at least its finale, is an extraordinarily colourful and clever piece which uses repeated modulations to work towards its bold final flourish, and again Parker-Smith combines technical precision with elegant use of the organ.
Among the rarities was Adorazione, a very late work by the Italian Oreste Ravanello. Predictably spiritual in theme and churchy in finish, it contrasted with the intellectual worldliness of the French pieces. There was also a collection of Sketches on Negro Spiritual Songs, written by the Hungarian Antalffy-Zsiross after his move to the US. Not very PC but oh-so whimsical ? Swing Low Sweet Chariot as they never heard it at Twickenham.