Bradford Cathedral announces a new series of weekly organ recitals featuring Bach’s “Great Eighteen” Choral Preludes

The popular weekly free ‘Wednesday@One’ organ recitals will return to Bradford Cathedral, after a break for Easter, at the beginning of May 2022.

This season will feature a line-up of nine organists, starting with Alexander Woodrow from Leeds and ending with an international feel with recitals from Sara Musumeci from Italy and Hans Uwe Hielsche from Germany.

The organ recitals begin at 1pm each Wednesday from the 4th May through to the 6th July (with a one-week gap on the 1st June), and are preceded by a buffet lunch at 12:30pm.

The organ recitals are free to attend, though donations are welcome. The recitals last around 45 minutes and those attending are also welcome to explore the Cathedral before and after the recital.

Music played during this season will include J S Bach’s “Great Eighteen” Chorale Preludes. These are pieces written in Leipzig, when Bach was Kantor at St Thomas’s Church, and represent the pinnacle of his sacred music for solo organ. The elaborate works are all based on different German hymn tunes, and Bach treats the melody in ingenious ways to create sumptuous mini masterpieces.

Graham Thorpe, Assistant Bradford Cathedral Director of Music, says:

“We’re absolutely delighted to be continuing our regular Wednesday@One organ recitals. The recitals are friendly and entertaining, consisting of 45 minutes of top-class organ playing, with the recitalists introducing pieces as they go.

“We would love to see as many people as we can join us for the weekly recitals! They have a great atmosphere, and the recitalists are all fantastic, with some local figures, but with big names from further afield, too.

“The organ is now in particularly fine voice after some ‘rebalancing’ work. This has helped some of the older ranks speak more freely, allows a greater tonal palette, and contributes to an even more thrilling ensemble sounds of the full organ.

“We can’t wait to see you here!”

For more information about the new series of ‘Wednesday @ One’ organ recitals, please visit bradfordcathedral.org/music/organ-recitals/

The full programme of recitals is as follows:

4th May 2022 – Alexander Woodrow (Leeds)
11th May 2022 – Paul Trepte (Worcester)
18th May 2022 – Alexander Berry (Bradford)
25th May 2022 – Anthony Gray (Harrogate)
8th June 2022 – Katherine Dienes-Williams (Guildford)
15th June 2022 – Jeremiah Stephenson (London)
22nd June 2022 – Graham Thorpe (Bradford)
29th June 2022 – Sara Musumeci (Italy)
6th July 2022 – Hans Uwe Hielsche (Wiesbaden, Germany)