Preparing for the Spring Concert

Side view of assistant director of music at Truro Cathedral Joseph Wicks

For me, the month of March is going to be rather strange.  Our Father Willis organ is briefly out of action as the final piece of work is carried out to be paid out of last year’s wonderful fundraising efforts.

Rather than myself and Carolyn (our Organ Scholar) kicking about at home for the intervening time (!), we have seen this spell without the main organ as a musical opportunity to use the cathedral’s wonderful Yamaha C7 Grand Piano a lot more, in addition to the chamber organ by Kenneth Tickell. No more so is this intention evident than in our Spring Concert programme.

My colleague Christopher Gray has included some gorgeous music by Henry Purcell and Maurice Greene for which I will be accompanying the choir on the chamber organ.

I have always enjoyed accompanying on such a small-scale instrument for several reasons. As an accompanist, it is wonderful to be on the cathedral floor (both player and instrument) right next to the singers, where you can sense the corporate breath of the ensemble and move completely as one. Perhaps obviously, accompanying the choir with such a small-scale instrument does elicit a different sound from them. It is much more akin to a chamber music ensemble, operating on a less grandiose scope and creating a more intimate, enticing sound.

Also included in the programme are two movements from Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem which will be accompanied on the piano.

Brahms himself made a reduction of his extraordinary full orchestra score down to four-hand piano. This unique opportunity to perform this piece in this way was too good to miss. Carolyn and I will be playing the duet part, which is itself a marvel of what can be achieved on the piano as far as recreating orchestral texture is concerned.

For more information about the Truro Cathedral Spring Concert and to get tickets please visit the event page