Bernard Hall, Cuddington
By Bruce Clarke - 24th April 2015 8:00am
One hundred and fifteen people filled St Mary's Church on Thursday 23rd April for the Aperitif Recital given by Ben Sheen, assistant organist of St Thomas Church at Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.
This was a return visit for Ben. He had played to an even larger audience in Haddenham in the summer of 2013. This time the programme was made up of orchestral music transcribed for organ and the performance was screened on the church's new video equipment to great effect.
Opening with the lively Sinfonia from Bach's 29th Cantata Ben contrasted this with his father's transcription of Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture. This was a convincing and masterly performance and explored the many tonal colours of the organ.
Ben's own transcription of three movements Shostakovitch's Gadfly Suite had the audience almost gasping at the incredible technical virtuosity displayed during the movement Folk Feast.
The evening finished with Pierre Cochereau's Scherzo Symphonique — another tour de force displaying Ben's astonishing talent.
The audience's appreciation was evident as Ben was called back three times at the end of the performance
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