Gillian Ward Russell, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Two Harry Potter tunes, one gentle, the other starting with a note of menace from the bass, introduced Gillian Ward Russell's stimulating organ recital at St Andrew's Hall.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Two Harry Potter tunes, one gentle, the other starting with a note of menace from the bass, introduced Gillian Ward Russell's stimulating organ recital at St Andrew's Hall.

With great dexterity and skilful pedal work she explored the theme of Light and Darkness in music that was mostly unfamiliar and with commentaries that were models of the gentle art of presentation.

An authoritative bottom line gave strength and purpose to Bach's Prelude on a Whitsun hymn. In the same form, based on an epiphany chorale, Neils Garde offered attractive contrasts in a gentler, less busy interpretation.

A fantasia, St Anne - generally used for Oh God our Help in Ages Past- gave yet another opportunity for enjoying developments on a melody we could all recognise.

There was an extra local interest too. This powerful setting was by Édouard Silas, whose oratorio Joash was performed at the N&N Triennial Festival so long ago as 1863. Dr Russell's persuasive performance suggested that this Dutch composer does not deserve to be forgotten.

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The measure drudge of Guilmant's funeral march and his vision of paradise that gave scope for the Vox humana. Called on the organ's rich spectrum of colours as well as its ample reserves of power. Vierne's vivid Hymn To The Sun and Dubois' Let There Be Light were no less impressive.

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