Classical crowdpleasers for St John’s first concert of 2019

Matt Geer
Matt Geer

Organist Matt Geer opened the new season of musical events at St John the Evangelist church, Hollington, with a concert entirely devoted to transcriptions of popular works.

A rousing Fanfare For The Common Man led into movements from Grieg’s Holberg Suite before the haunting beauty of Satie’s Trois Gymnopedie. The slow pace was entirely in keeping with the delicacy of the writing.

The two pieces from Saint-Saens’ Le carnaval Des Animaux came as a complete contrast with the weighty L’Elephant and the more serene Le Cygnet. Two familiar pieces by Elgar were likewise carefully contrasted with the Mendelssohnian textures of his Cantique and the triumphalism of the Imperial March.

Debussy’s La fille Aux Cheveux De Lin was originally written for piano but its brief life here was effective before the more extrovert attack of Philip Glass’ Mad Rush.

The final section returned to Grieg with four items from Peer Gynt ending, inevitably, with In The Hall Of The Mountain King.

A good sized audience greeted the performance with enthusiasm and the retiring collection was to be split between Water Aid and the church’s building programme. The next concert is on St George’s Day, April 23, at 3pm when there will be a recital by two professional harpists – possibly a first for Hastings? by Brian Hick.

read more: Excitement builds at start of Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition