D'Arcy's great musical challenge in Arundel

The great organ works of César Franck and the Sainte-Clotilde Tradition will be explored in three concerts at Arundel Cathedral on May 11, June 1 and June 15, Friday evenings at 7.30pm, delivered by D'Arcy Trinkwon.

D'Arcy Trinkwon
D'Arcy Trinkwon

“I will have the particular pleasure of performing all the great works of Franck alongside dramatic works of Tournemire and Langlais – the teacher-pupil line in the so-called Sainte-Clotilde Tradition. Franck’s wonderful music is surely among the most beautiful, passionate and expressive literature written for the instrument; it expresses surging emotions, passions, beautiful melodies and magical explorations of feelings temporal and spiritual and delivers a message of hope in humanity which is so powerful.

“Arundel Cathedral is a gem: its proportions and style are similar to those of the Saint-Clothilde where these three composers were successive organists, and it will be a perfect venue to hear this beautiful music soar heavenwards.

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“The music of Franck is, like that of Beethoven, a great expression and exploration of the human condition and experience. Fervent and turbulent passions run with beautiful melodies describing emotions from joy to sorrow, longing to understanding.

“As with Beethoven, whose 32 piano sonatas Franck performed as a youth, throughout it all is a real belief and hope in spiritual faith, the betterment and the positive in the spiritual and the temporal.

“Despite the yearning, there is always hope. This fabulous music is among the greatest and most expressive in the organ’s repertoire – and its appeal spreads its arms far and wide, providing a message of both hope and inner-thought that can really touch and affect the heart of the listener.

“His pupil Tournemire was renowned for his extraordinary improvisations. Five of these were recorded by HMV in 1930 on 78rpms records; later they were transcribed by his pupil Duruflé and published. They range from the awesomely-dramatic paraphrases on the Victimae paschali, the Te Deum and the Ave Maris Stella to the gentle Cantilene and Rhapsodie.

“Tournemire’s pupil Langlais was one of the most influential organist-composers and teachers of the 20th century. Blind at two as a result of glaucoma, he became one of the most widely-travelled concert performers in the world and performed numerous times throughout the British Isles.

“The trio of these three interlinked composers will show people not familiar with organ music the instrument in a revelatory light to many who imagine the organ only makes subdued, undulating groaning sounds at funerals or picturesque jollies at weddings; here we have true music, colour, mystical inspiration, musical fireworks and dynamite – and the true beauty and sometimes challenge of great art.”

On Friday, May 11, the programme will be: Tournemire –Five Improvisations: Te Deum; Langlais – Folkloric Suite, Op.77: III – Cantique; Franck – Prélude, fugue et variation, Op.18; Choral No.1 in E; Franck – Fantaisie in C, Op.16; Tournemire – Petite rapsodie improvisée; and Franck – Grande-pièce symphonique, Op.17.

Friday, June 1 offers: Langlais – Incantation pour un jour saint, Op.64; Franck – Choral No.2 in B minor; Tournemire – Cantilene improvisée; Fantaisie-Improvisation sur l’Ave Maris Stella; Franck –Prière, Op.20; Langlais – Neuf Pièces, Op.40: IX - Rhapsodie grégoriennne; Franck – Pastorale, Op.19; Langlais – Trois paraphrases Grégoriennes, Op.9: II. Ave Maria, Ave Maris Stella; and Franck – Final, Op.21

Full details of the programmes can be seen at www.darcytrinkwon.com and at www.arundelcathedral.org. Tickets: £10 at the door; under-16s and unemployed free.

For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2