It was a pleasure to hear the up and coming organist, David Connolly, perform a difficult but enjoyable recital in Christ Church Cathedral as part of their Coffee Concert series. He is a young lecturer performer at Maynooth and his PhD interests lie in plain chant and French symphonic works. His programme while not a sunny Sunday morning style had enough dramatic effects to please this venues devoted audience.
He bookended his selection with dramatic, repeating motif, fanfares and showbusiness for the organ by Tournemire, a one time student of Cesar Franck. Tournemire specialised in Gregorian Chant and opera with limited improvisations with a rigid format, where variations might be a more apt description.
The Baroque chants of Clerambault had a very modern styling that surprised me. The inclusion of a Mendelssohn Sonata gave a typical stately tone to the organ and I am not sure why he chose a Schumann transposed Fugue except to show some dexterity of technique.
I loved the inclusion of Le Jardin Suspenda from Jenan Alain an organist who was influenced by Messiaen and it had vague if not mysterious passages and sustained single notes. Alain was an action hero who died in 1940 when serving as a motorbike despatch rider he was ambushed by Germans but in a gun battle he killed 16 of them for which he got a posthumous Croix du Guerre.