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Robert Quinney: The Mathematical Made Spiritual

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Tuesday 26 January 202119:30
Performers
Robert QuinneyOrgan


Robert Quinney plays landmark organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach, including the intimate, the propulsive and the utterly perfect.

Few pieces demonstrate the wonder of the organ like Bach’s trio sonatas – music that takes a three-person conversation and asks a single musician to communicate it.

‘It is impossible to say enough of their beauty,’ wrote Bach’s first biographer, Forkel.

Quinney brings us the spirited conversation of the Trio Sonata in E flat, with its achingly eloquent slow movement, and the exuberant games of the Trio Sonata in C.

Woven around these intimate pieces are big-boned toccatas and fugues that ring with architectural majesty. The ‘Dorian’ Toccata and Fugue was described by the organist Albert Schweitzer as ‘a miracle of vaulted arches.’

While that work cascades outwards from its first bar, the Toccata and Fugue in F BWV.540 builds thrillingly towards its climax, tossing musical ideas from hands to feet and back with exhilarating force.

Quinney closes his recital with Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor – a musical Rubik’s Cube that builds a towering structure from multiple repetitions of a single phrase.

Robert Quinney is a former assistant organist at Westminster Abbey and is now organist at New College, Oxford. His recent recordings of Bach’s organ works have been praised for their brilliance and delicacy alike.

© Nick Rutter
© Nick Rutter
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