Andrew Benson-Wilson, organ
Mayfair Organ Concerts
The Grosvenor Chapel
South Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2PA
Tuesday 21 March 2023, 1:10
Bõhm: Partita Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele
Trio Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele
Bach: Fantasia in c BWV 562i
Bõhm: Vater under I’m Himmelreich
Bach: Praeludium et Fuga in c BWV 546
This recital is a contribution to Early Music Day, the international celebration of early music that takes place annually on 21 March, the anniversary of Bach’s birth. The programme contrasts the music of one of Bach’s earliest influences with two of his mature organ works. When he was 15, Bach became a student at the Michaelisschule in Lüneburg. Georg Böhm was organist of the nearby Johanniskirche, the principal town church. The organ there was built in 1553 by Hendrik Niehoff, and is pictured below.
There is clear evidence that the young Bach knew Bõhm, and may have been a pupil of his. One of the earliest Bach manuscripts is a copy of a piece by Reinken owned by Bõhm. The two Bach pieces are powerful examples of his mature style, the first demonstrating the clear influence of French music, that he may have first experienced in Lüneburg and nearby Hamburg. The monumental Praeludium et Fuga in c shows the influence of Italian music, notably in the concerto-like Praeludium. Both Bach pieces were played as final voluntaries during the late Queen’s funeral and committal.
The Grosvenor Chapel organ is the 1991 instrument by the distinguished organ builder, William Drake. Further details here –
Admission is free, with a retiring collection.
Part of the Mayfair Organ Concerts series.