CHRISTOPHER SMITH St Andrew's Hall, Norwich
> St Andrew's Hall, Norwich
David Dunnett, master of music at Norwich Cathedral, gave us a programme for the midsummer lunchtime series that cleverly revealed the capabilities of a large instrument that is all too often assigned only a secondary role.
He began with Faulkes' Grand Choeur music. It was loud and assertive as well as melodious at the start and finish, with a middle section that possessed an attractive quality of wistfulness. A short piece by the Belgian 19th-century composer Jongen was even gentler and more intimate.
The pulse became more urgent in a Concerto in G Major by JS Bach. Beneath a flourish of pretty patterns in the bright-toned treble, the bass was striding on, imposing authority. The Adagio was nicely paced to prepare for a concluding Presto that bustled along without seeming hurried. This was Bach in a far more relaxed mood than in some of his more celebrated works.
Introduced in the best thunderous manner, Rheinberger's Passacaglia made a great impression. Once more, shape was given to inventiveness by the bass line. Above it, Dunnett put vivid life into the Bavarian composer's fine tracery of notes, lovingly colouring and moulding the shapes of all the elaborate detail before working up to a melodramatic climax.
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The Meditation from Massenet's Thais transported us to calmer spheres and revealed the quality of the organ's softer stops.
Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance No 1 made a rousing finale with the help of some particularly fruity pedal notes.
The Lunch Stop Series continues on June 20, with Julian Thomas at the organ.