Low turnout, high performance at Cathedral concert

By Basil Walters
Observer writer

Sunday, November 18, 2018

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Almost every item presented at Trevor Beckford's organ recital last Sunday at the St James Cathedral in Spanish Town was marked by refinement, intelligence and clarity. Ironically, the classical church music concert by the distinguished organist, which provided a compelling rich sound, was executed before one of the smallest audience in attendances in its over 50 years of staging.

It's a pity the church membership's appetite for predominantly classical music was not strong enough to pull them out on this occasion when, as is customary, the performers were basking in immaculate classical music.

“Tonight I'll be playing music from the 18th century to the 20th to make people understand the value of classical organ church music. You will hear me do some improvisations. This concert is dedicated to Donald Jones, a member of the choir for many years who died in August,” was how concert creator/director, organist, choir master Trevor Beckford lifted the curtain.

The programme began with Beckford alternating on organ/piano with masterful performances of Fantasia In G and Arioso by Bach, as well as Psalm Prelude No 2 by Herbert Howells.

Flute soloist Camilla Crossdale was at home with Handel's Allegro 2nd Movement Sonata and Priere a Notre Dame from Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann.

Piano forte accompanist Kristojay Talbott offered such pieces as Christmas, Sanctus with piano and organ arrangement by Beckford. However, the most embullient performance came from tenor Orville Manning's delivery of Mendelssohn's If With All Your Heart, Then Shall Righteous Shine and Handel's Rejoice Greatly.

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