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Aperitif Recital at St Mary's

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Benjamin Sheen
Ben Sheen

140 people attended St Mary's Church on Tuesday 16th July to hear the fifth Aperitif Recital given by the outstanding young organist Benjamin Sheen.

Ben, who won the $40,000 first prize in June at the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition in Philadelphia, came direct to Haddenham from the St Albans International Organ Competition. He had been competing in the semi finals during the morning. He quipped to the audience that it was a pleasure to play in front of people who were not able to eliminate him.

His programme ranged from Bach's 'roller coaster' Toccata in F to the tranquil tones of Pierre Cochereau's Berceuse in memory of Louis Vierne.

For the first time at an Aperitif Recital virtually everyone in the audience was able to see the action. A camera projected the image of the organist to a screen in the nave.

At the end of the recital the audience, who had listened whilst enjoying wine and canapés, gave Ben rapturous applause. He responded with a witty speech and concluded the evening with a deft performance of Louis Vierne's Scherzetto.

The next Aperitif Recital is on Monday 2nd December at 7pm, when Clive Driskill-Smith of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford plays Louis Vierne's Fourth Symphony for organ. All details of Aperitif Recitals may be had by emailing Bruce Clarke at: bruce.clarke@hotmail.co.uk

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