David Crocker

Well-balanced recital mixes poignancy with power: David Crocker at the Minster Church of St Andrew

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Although six of this season’s lunchtime recitals involve solo organ, each one individually reflects the personality and playing style of the performer.

Some may literally pull out all the stops, while others might favour some more delicate registrations available.

David Crocker had chosen a well-balanced and enjoyable programme which did feature some lovely quiet timbres, as in the four numbers from Haydn’s Pieces for Musical Clock, but there were also moments of power, too, as in Albinoni’s well-known Adagio, or the two Trumpet Voluntaries, by Jeremiah Clarke and John Stanley respectively, which topped and tailed David’s recital.

There was something for everyone here, from part of Rossini’s Thieving Magpie Overture, which translated quite effectively from the orchestral original, to Noel Rawsthorne’s Line Dance – a humorous potpourri of familiar tunes and airs.

The Baroque was well represented, with items by Buxtehude, Handel, and Corelli, alongside a particularly effective and unfamiliar Nocturne by Stephen Miles, who, like David, hails from Wiltshire. Pleasingly straightforward in harmony and melody, it received a poignant and expressive reading that certainly tugged at the heart strings.

But sadly, with some of the stops already not working, and the electronics very much reflecting last century’s technology, a complete rebuild and refurbishment to keep this nonetheless impressive organ going well into the future must now be considered an absolute top priority, before it becomes too late.

PHILIP R BUTTALL