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  Christe Qui Lux es et Dies  Timbo at 18:11 on 24 March 2008
 

Review by Thomas Hyde from "The Organ" magazine(February-March 2008 issue)

Timothy Craig Harrison Christe qui Lux es et Dies (world premiere)
Emma Gibbins organ

Annual Festival of New Organ Music
St Marylebone Parsh Church, London
13 October 2007

The Annual Festival of New Organ Music, founded by Martin Stacey, is now in its second year and provides both a valuable platform for composers and players and a chance for audiences to hear music by both familiar names and new discoveries. As well as the concerts themselves, the website (www.afnom.org) allows the general public to find information about the pieces featured, listen to recordings of the works and purchase scores. The festival is already expanding beyond London. This year saw events also in Helsinki and Lisbon.

The exhibition concert on 13 October allowed us to hear seven pieces, three of which (by Rachel Laurin, Nicolay Apollyon and Philip Underwood) were performed by the composers, on the organ of St Marylebone Parish Church. But it was the two works receiving their premiere that stood out. John Joubert's Prelude on 'York' was a beautifully constructed miniature that reminded us once again of how finely crafted this composer's work always is. It was good to hear it in this his 80th birthday year played with sensitivity by Martin Stacey.

The highlight of the concert was unquestionably Christe qui Lux es et Dies by Timothy Craig Harrison (b.1962), a composer based in the north-east and currently director of music at Ushaw College, Durham. A large-scale work made up of eight sections that run continuously, this is one of the most impressive new works for organ I have heard. Each of the sections reflect a different stanza of the hymn. Particularly noteworthy was section 4 ('The Tempter with his wiles', a boisterous scherzo in which the Tempter succeeded in winning over this listener with his devious chromatic fugue. The plainsong's triumphant statement in the finale was most convincing as were the gradually fading 'Amens' with which the work ends. This work deserves to be taken up by organists everywhere. Emma Gibbins, for whom the work was written, gave a performance with passion, commitment and some lovely touches in registration.

Thomas Hyde


  Re: Christe Qui Lux es et Dies  Account Closed at 16:19 on 13 April 2008
 

I read up about this event having never come across it before. I wonder how many out the pieces they receive are actually performed? It strikes me that at 40 an entry, they must be making a lot of money. Has anyone had any experience of sending items in for it?

David

  Re: Christe Qui Lux es et Dies  Timbo at 17:45 on 13 April 2008
 

Having submitted two entries in two successive years and had them both performed, I can certainly vouch for the integrity of the directors of the Annual Festival of New Organ Music. To host an event of this kind must cost a great deal in terms of publicity alone. The concerts are all professionally recorded and the festival brochure is beautifully presented. All in all this is a festival to be higly commended.

I recommend that you visit the festival website at www.afnom.org
You will find there all the answers to your questions re: numbers of pieces performed etc.

I hope this is of some help