Aperitif Recital Review

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James Orford

On Thursday 5th May, after a two year hiatus, an "Aperitif Recital" was held at St Marys Church.

The recital was given by James Orford, organist at Eton College, assistant director of music at St Pauls' Church Knightsbridge and former organist at Westminster Cathedral.

He delighted the audience with music by Duruflé, Vivaldi and others.

James delivered a fantastic performance, imbuing the music with emotion and impressing the audience with his technical skills.

The last piece from the programme in particular was an exhilarating display of his talent, and the magic required from an organist to effectively play three keyboards simultaneously! So impressive was he, that an encore was demanded.

This recital was especially poignant as the instigator of the Aperitif Recital series, Bruce Clarke, died last autumn and this concert was held in his honour. Over the years, Bruce had invited many young, talented organists to show off the organ at St Marys to a discerning audience, who also enjoyed wine and canapés before the performances.

Bruce had even had a hand in organising this recital, having invited James, arranged the programme and even written the programme notes for what should have been a recital in April 2020.

As one guest commented: "It was a fantastic event and an excellent memorial for Bruce. We were lucky enough to attend the first Aperitif Recital and have been regular attendees, enjoying every concert, ever since"

Special thanks must go to Jenny Hardy and Lizzie Banister for their part in every Aperitif Recital since 2011, as well as Andy Hardy, Roger Ward and the army of drinks servers.

There is no doubt an appetite in the village for such events, and perhaps a new enthusiast will be found to take on the role played by Bruce in bringing young talent to our village.

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