Lord Mayor's Organ Recital, St Stephens' Walbrook

Friday 31st March 2017

The intended organist for this free recital had fallen ill so, gamely stepping up to the plate, Dr. Parmley, our organ-playing Lord Mayor kindly volunteered his services. St. Stephen's is the one church the Mistress and I had been unable to see during the Livery Churches walk last summer, so it was an added attraction to finally see Wren's 'practice' dome for St. Paul's. The Lord Mayor welcomed us all quietly and charmingly as we arrived - in which other capital city would you be able to see and meet one of most important civic leaders without pomp or ceremony? It's what sets us apart I think.With a short intro from the Lady Mayoress, Dr. Parmley gave us about 45 minutes of excellent organ music from Boyce to Howells on what looked a fine instrument still using a ?Grinling Gibbons organ case, the console now remotely operating from just behind our pew, so we had an excellent view and I shamelessly recorded a little which I'll attempt to add as a link.. The finale was the fun Sortie by the extravagantly named French composer Louis-James-Alfred Lefebure-Wely (yes, really) - it was one of those tunes you can't get out of your head and it's still there as I type this on Sunday morning! As an encore Andrew gave us a very individual account of British 'Sea Songs' with inserted variations from other sources such as Widors 'Toccata' amongst several others - very clever and amusing. Needless to say, word had got out and so there was a good turn out to support and it all went down very well indeed. Thank you Lord Mayor for providing an excellent end to a highly enjoyable day. I don't mind admitting both Camilla and myself were fairly pooped by this stage and so said our farewells and went home for a light supper!

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