Fantasia! offers a new series of 45 Minutes of Music at The Meeting House, University of Sussex, Brighton, running until May.
Masterminding it all is acclaimed concert organist and University of Sussex organist, D’Arcy Trinkwon.
“After the technical gymnastics of the last series (Pedal Power – See what feet can do!) we head on a fantastical journey exploring fantasias written for the organ over five centuries –
from Elizabeth I’s time to the present.”
The monthly concerts are on the last Wednesday (except March) of each month from January to May. All at 12 noon. March’s concert will be the penultimate Wednesday of the month.
Admission is free, and everyone is welcome.
D’Arcy is promising fascinating, relaxed and informal concerts including interesting verbal introductions explaining the details and background of each piece of music. The idea is to make the music accessible to even those new to great organ music.
“The concerts are aimed to be interesting to everyone, and the audiences continue to grow –
showing that they are!
“The organ in the Meeting House is one of the finest organs in the south-east and is also one of the iconic instruments of its period; built in 1966 by Grant, Degens and Bradbeer, its futuristic design still looks avant-garde today. It was recently fully restored by Clevedon Organs with the addition of a very modern mobile console which allows the audience to watch everything the performer is doing and be totally involved and the performer to communicate fully with musician them.
“The Winter-Spring series 2018 is called Fantasia! Musically a fantasia is may be described variously as ‘a free musical composition structured according to the composer's fancy, a musical composition with a free form and often an improvisatory style, or a musical composition based on several familiar tunes and a thing composed of a mixture of different forms or styles.’
“Through the concerts, I aim to take the audience on a journey that we are all on together. I am a bit like the bus conductor! And it is a great pleasure to show people how much the organ can do.”
D’Arcy agrees with the view that the organ is the most misunderstood of instruments: “It is different in France and Germany where there is a different culture. But in this country people tend to think that they are either moany-groany or overwhelming, that they are just for church services, funerals or weddings. And of course, with what you hear, the standards can be variable. People come along and they are amazed that the organ can be so interesting.”
It is not just a hymn machine: “There is a huge variety of repertoire. People think that they cannot go to an organ recital if they are not religious or they think they cannot go to it if it is in someone else’s church. This series of concerts is aimed at bringing down some of the barriers completely. The organ is a universal language for everyone to enjoy.”
Admission to all the concerts is free; everyone is welcome. The Meeting House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QF; more details on www.darcytrinkwon.com.