Wednesday 20 March 2019 – 1:00 pm
On Wednesday 20 March 2019 we had the great pleasure of welcoming back to the Cathedral Xiaoting CHANG from the Royal College of Music in London. After the wonderful musical experience we enjoyed at her last visit to the Cathedral in September 2018, there was much anticipation for today’s recital, which was in the event fully justified.
What could be better than to start with the incomparable Bach, especially in the hands of Xiaoting? The deceptively simple beginning of the fugue led inevitably into a wonderfully increasing complexity while at the same time retaining a sensitivity of touch and a general feeling of happiness.
For the second piece by César Franck we were treated to a fast and furious entry with tumbling notes evoking an image of fast-flowing water in a small and rocky stream, which then gradually subsided into the tranquil flow of a broader river basin. Eventually our imaginary vessel reached the widening reaches of the estuary, and, picking up speed, eventually sailed in a triumphant finale out to the open sea.
The Dutch composer Ad Wammes then provided us with a truly chromatic toccata with a colour palette drawn from the pastel shades. Ethereally singing tones sounded at first like a softly muted whistle and then syncopated notes reminded one of birdsong in this joyful and wonderfully executed piece.
Xiaoting then brought us all back to reality with Rheinberger’s impressive sonata. Here, forcefully intoned chords gave the impression of a prowling beast lurking, somewhat threateningly, somewhere within the organ case. This splendid piece gradually worked towards an excitingly powerful finale.
And then on to Gigout’s toccata with rapid notes and a solemn bass line, sounding almost like Bach. As the pace and volume, together with exciting complexity increased we were all made aware of Xiaoting’s great technical skill and musical sensitivity.
Thank you, Xiaoting, for an truly excellent recital.
|Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)||Prelude and Fugue in G, BWV 541|
|César FRANCK (1822-1890)||Choral No. 3 in A minor|
|Ad WAMMES (b. 1953)||Toccata Chromatica|
|Josef RHEINBERGER (1831-1901)||Organ Sonata No.6 in E flat minor Op. 119,
|Eugène GIGOUT (1844 – 1925)||Toccata|
Xiaoting Chang was born in Harbin, China in 1997. She received her first piano lesson at the age of 3, and went on to achieve Grade 10 Piano Certificate of the Shanghai Musician Association. She studied organ under Evelyn Lim in Singapore at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, where she graduated with a Diploma in Music (Distinction). She has been a member of the Singapore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and has given many organ recitals. Currently, Xiaoting is studying with David Graham and Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin at the Royal College of Music London, where she is supported by the Elsie Gertrude Martin Award. A few weeks ago, during the visit of HRH the Prince of Wales to the RCM, Xiaoting performed before the awarding ceremony and was the only solo performance for the entire ceremony
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Photos – Graham Hillman