ST EDMUND THE KING, NORTHWOOD HILLS ARCHIVE SEP 2004-AUG 2005
The articles below are taken from my monthly columns in St Edmund's Church parish magazine ("The King"), which includes full details of my organ voluntaries for that month.
FROM THE CONSOLE - AUGUST 2005
FROM THE CONSOLE - JULY 2005
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During the recent half-term holiday, Aline, Alex and I had an enjoyable five days in the Spanish city of Barcelona. One of the most impressive buildings was the concert hall of the Palau de la Musica. It was built by Lluis Domenech in the first decade of the twentieth century for the Catalan Choral Society and the opening season featured concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Richard Strauss. The concert hall includes some impressive stained glass such as the skylight representing the sun which you can see in the above photo (for some excellent photos, go on a virtual tour). The hall also contains some fine sculptures and mosaic work. The organ was originally built by the German builders Walcker in 1908. It fell into disrepair in the 1970s and was only restored in 2003 following a generous bequest. One of the innovative features of the rebuild is the ability to play the instrument by remote control as was demonstrated by our tour guide. He told us that the best way to keep an instrument in optimum condition was to play it every day and this was now accomplished through a computerised console.
Alex and I also visted the Nou Camp, home to Spanish champions FC Barcelona. Inaugurated in 1956, the 100,000 seater is the largest football stadium in Europe and the third largest in the world (after Mexico's Aztec Stadium and Brazil's Maracana).
"From The Console" will be taking a break next month and will be back in September.
Queen Margaret of Scotland was the Grand-daughter of Edmund Ironside, who was briefly King of England. Following the accession of the Danes to the English throne, the family fled to Hungary for protection and Margaret was born there in 1046. Once the Anglo-Saxons had been restored to the throne, Margaret returned to England. Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, Margaret fled north to Dunfermline and the safety of King Malcolm's court. She is said to have been intelligent, beautiful and devout and in 1069 Margaret and Malcolm married. Through her the Scottish court became a more civilised place. She revived the abbey of Iona and established a Benedictine monastery in Dunfermline, later to become the Abbey.
Three of Margaret's children, Edgar, Alexander and David, became kings of Scotland while her daughter Matilda married Henry I of England. She died in 1096 at the age of forty-seven, just three days after learning of the deaths of her husband and son Edward in battle. Margaret and Malcom are buried in Dunfermline Abbey and Margaret herself was made a Saint in the thirteenth century. Margaret's son David established a chapel in Edinburgh Castle in honour of his mother and a special service is held there every year on her feast day of November 16th which is attended by our Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl.
St Margaret's Prayer O my children, fear the Lord; for them that fear Him shall lack nothing; and if you love Him, He will give you, my dear ones, success in this life and everlasting happiness with all the saints.
You can hear a setting of these words by Ian Hope as performed on the St Margaret's Schools Choir Tour by clicking here. (Real Player required).
Prelude - Aria - Flor Peeters (1903-1986)
Postlude - Praise The Lord O My Soul - S.Karg-Elert (1877-1933)
Prelude - Sonata No 4 (3rd Movement) - F.Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Postlude - Sonata No 4 (4th Movement) - F.Mendelssohn
Prelude - Air and Gavotte - S.S.Wesley (1810-1876)
Postlude - Prelude No 4 - Franz Schmidt (1874-1939)
FROM THE CONSOLE - MAY 2005
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The two-week St Margaret's Schools UK Choir Tour has just come to an end and what an unforgettable experience it was. It started with the twelve choirs of over 200 singers assembling on the weekend of Palm Sunday. There were just two rehearsals before the first concert at the Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich which went remarkably well. That week the visitors also visited Oxford and Windsor as well as a number of attractions in the capital such as the London Eye.
Good Friday saw a ten-hour coach trip to Edinburgh followed by a concert at Dunfermline Abbey the following day. I remained in London to play for the Easter services at St Edmund's. My trip to Edinburgh did not start too well as my flight on Easter Sunday was over two hours late. I was due at a reception in the Castle that evening and had to go straight there from the Airport - luggage and all - in order to make it on time! The weather was not kind to us as it rained constantly for the best part of two days and our accommodation in the Youth Hostel could be generously described as functional - four men in a room the size of a broom cupboard! However the concert on Monday night in St Giles Cathedral was a great success and the Rieger organ was my favourite of the three which I played during the tour.
Tuesday saw a daytrip to Loch Lomond and Stirling followed by a ten-pin bowling party in the evening. We transferred to York by coach on Wednesday with a stop off at Castle Howard en route. We were accommodated in Queen Margaret's School with the luxury of single rooms for the men! I was booked in for an organ rehearsal in York Minster (pictured above) at 8.30 the following morning. I arrived at 8.00am to a deserted Minster and it was a magical experience to have the place to myself before the coach parties arrived. The concert itself went well although the acoustics of the building caused a few problems of balance between organ and choir. There was a farewell party after the concert before everyone returned to the four corners of the globe on Friday.
On my website you can find pictures, video and audio clips from the tour. The page is www.mark-hammond.co.uk/ctour.htm. In the May magazine I will tell the fascinating story of St Margaret of Scotland who was the inspiration for these schools.
Prelude - Sheep May Safely Graze - J.S.Bach (1685-1750)
Postlude - Voluntary No 1 in C - William Boyce (1711-1779)
Prelude - Prière du Christ Montant Vers Son Père (L'Ascension) - O.Messiaen (1908-1992)
Postlude - Final & Marche - L.Boellmann (1862-1897)
Prelude - Majestié du Christ Demandant Sa Gloire à Son Père (L'Ascension) - O.Messiaen
Postlude - Songs of Praise - R.Prizeman (b.1952)
Prelude - Prelude on "Rhosymedre" - R.Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Postlude - Prelude on "Hyfrydol" - R.Vaughan Williams
Prelude - Chanson de Matin - E.Elgar (1857-1934)
Postlude - Voluntary No 2 in A Minor - William Boyce
FROM THE CONSOLE - APRIL 2005
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On Easter Monday, I shall be performing in St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh (above) with the massed Queen Margaret of Scotland Choir. This is one of two cathedrals in the Scottish capital, the other being St Mary's. St Giles Cathedral, dedicated in 1243, was named after the 7th Century French hermit St Gilles, it is thought, in support of the Auld Alliance of Scotland and France against England, their common and much hated enemy. St Gilles is buried in the Provencal town (just 20 miles from Aline's family home) which bears his name, his tomb being one of the four most important pilgrimage sites in mediaeval Christendom. The organ was built in 1992 by the Austrian firm Rieger Orgelbau. An unusual feature is the thirty-seven Whitechapel bells incorporated in the instrument.
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Three days later the Choir have their final concert in York Minster (above). There has been a church on this site since the seventh century although the present building was begun in the twelfth century and completed over the following two hundred years. The Rose Window in the South Transept dates from around 1500 and commemorates the union of the Royal Houses of Lancaster and York. It was severely damaged in the 1984 fire and has been painstakingly restored. The organ has twice been destroyed by fire, once in 1829 by Jonathon Martin, a madman who disliked organs! The basis of the present instrument dates from 1832, although it has had five major refurbishments since, the most recent being in the early nineties. The present instrument has four manuals and contains over 5,300 pipes.
Prelude - Nun Sei Willkommen Jesus Lieber Herr - Flor Peeters (1903-1986)
Postlude - Prelude and Fugue in D Minor - D.Buxtehude (1637-1707)
Prelude - Salix - Percy Whitlock (1903-1946)
Postlude - Grand March (Aida) - G.Verdi (1813-1901)
Prelude - Après Un Rêve - G.Fauré (1845-1924)
Postlude - Organ Concerto No 6 - G.F.Handel (1685-1759)
FROM THE CONSOLE - MARCH 2005
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During the Easter holidays I shall be participating in a choir tour organised by my school. We will be joined by eleven other schools dedicated to St Margaret of Scotland from as far afield as Australia and Chile. This choir of some 210 singers will be performing at the Chapel of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich before travelling north to Scotland where they will be performing at Dunfermline Abbey (Margaret's burial place) and at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. The final leg of the thirteen-day tour takes us to York for a concert in the Minster. I am very much looking forward to playing the organ in these wonderful buildings.
The Royal Naval College in Greenwich was given by William II for use as a Naval Hospital to match the Royal Hospital for soldiers at Chelsea. It was built in two halves to allow an unimpeded view of Inigo Jones' Queens House from the Thames. The chapel organ was built by Samuel Green, one of the most celebrated organ builders of the eighteenth century whose instruments included those in Salisbury and Lichfield Cathedrals. Green enjoyed the patronage of George III who commissioned him to build an organ in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Greenwich Chapel was designed by Christopher Wren in the seventeenth century and was restored by James "Athenian" Stuart after a fire destroyed the building in 1779. The Royal Navy vacated the buildings in 1998 and they are now part of the University of Greenwich and Trinity College of Music.
Our Greenwich concert takes place at 7.30pm on Tuesday March 22nd with tickets priced at £10. For a full choir tour brochure click here. To e-mail me for further information click here.
Prelude - A Resurrection Prelude - James Patten (b.1936)
Postlude - Hornpipe (Water Music) - G.F.Handel (1685-1759)
FROM THE CONSOLE - FEBRUARY 2005
Here are the solutions to last month's crossword:
7 A wizard of a composer! (7) WARLOCK
8 Singer who lived next door to Handel's house in London (7) HENDRIX
9 The most famous of French organ builders (anagram of Cecil Ollaval) (12) CAVAILLE COLL
12 Birthplace of Elgar (10) BROADHEATH
15 Phillip ---, real name of 7 Across (9) HESELTINE
16 Church where Messiaen was organist for over sixty years (7) (La) TRINITE
17 Lager trek for this Geman composer of preludes such as "Nun Danket Alle Gott" [double-barrelled] (9) KARG-ELERT (anagram of "Lager trek")
19 Composer which can be found in faith and elegance (6) HANDEL
21 The Ninth of Elgar's 31 across variations (6) NIMROD
24 See 22 Down (5)
26 Bruce ---, poet of "Bethlehem Down", music by 1 Across (5) BLUNT
28 Revived the English choral tradition at the end of the nineteenth century (8) STANFORD
31 Variations written by Elgar (6) ENIGMA
32 We feebly rule this French composer [double-barrelled] (12) LEFEBURE-WELY (anagram of "We feebly rule")
1 French composer and organist of St Clothilde, Paris (6) FRANCK
2 Green Italian composer! (5) VERDI ("Verde" is Italian for "Green")
3 Help Caleb rearrange this Italian composer (9) PACHELBEL (anagram of "Help Caleb")
4 French composer of "Suite Gothique" (9) BOELLMANN
5 Word I rearrange to make French composer (5) WIDOR (anagram of "Word I")
6 Sounds like this preacher nit starts with tedium? (11) CHARPENTIER (anagram of "preacher nit". His most famous piece is Prelude ("starts") to a Te Deum ("tedium"))
10 George Smart designed the organ in this Northern England town (5) LEEDS
11 Local palace frequented by 19 across (7) CANNONS
13 The number of speaking stops on the St Edmund's organ (two words) (11) THIRTY SEVEN
14 One of the two types of organ pipe (4) REED
15 Who sell this English composer? (7) HOWELLS (anagram of "Who sell")
18 Do you remember Fame and --- (5) GLORY ("Fame and Glory is played on Remembrance Sunday, hence "remember")
20 Can you hunt down this German friend of Elgar? (6) JAEGER ("Jaeger" means "Hunter" in German)
22 and 24 across Eighteenth Century English composer, organist of the Chapel Royal and Master of the King's Music to George II (7) WILLIAM BOYCE
23 French composer of "Pavane" (5) FAURE
25 Is Duel an English composer admired by 1 across? (6) DELIUS (anagram of "Is Duel")
27 The number of manuals that St Edmund's organ has (5) THREE
29 Cathedral which began the tradition of the service of nine lessons and carols (5) TRURO
30 One of the two types of organ pipe (4) FLUE
The circled letters when rearranged spell "IN DULCI JUBILO". Congratulations to Allan Whalley who submitted the winning entry and has chosen the postlude for the first Sunday in February.
Prelude- Sicilienne - Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824)
Postlude- Chorale Prelude on Nun Danket - Siegfried Karg-Elert (1877-1933)
Prelude- Legende - Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
Postlude- Prelude and Fugue No 5 (BWV 557) - J.S.Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude- Arabesque - Louis Vierne
Postlude- Prelude and Fugue No 6 (BWV 558) - J.S.Bach
Prelude- Picardy - Alec Rowley (1892-1958)
Postlude- Prelude and Fugue No 7 (BWV 559) - J.S.Bach
FROM THE CONSOLE - JANUARY 2005
Here is my annual crossword with clues taken from my column over the last twelve months. Some of the clues are straightforward while others are a little more cryptic. The letters in the circles make a seasonal phrase. Let me have the phrase either in person or by e-mail. The closing date is Sunday January 10th. Answers in the February magazine.
A wizard of a composer! (7)
Singer who lived next door to
Handel's house in London (7)
The most famous of French organ
builders (anagram of Cecil Ollaval) (12)
Birthplace of Elgar (10)
Phillip ---, real name of 7 Across (9)
Church where Messiaen was organist
for over sixty years (7)
Lager trek for this Geman
composer of preludes such as
"Nun Danket Alle Gott"
Composer which can be found in
faith and elegance (6)
The Ninth of Elgar's 31 across variations (6)
See 22 Down (5)
Bruce ---, poet of "Bethlehem
Down", music by 1 Across (5)
Revived the English choral
tradition at the end of the
nineteenth century (8)
Variations written by Elgar (6)
We feebly rule this French
composer [double-barrelled] (12)
French composer and organist of St
Clothilde, Paris (6)
Green Italian composer! (5)
Help Caleb rearrange this Italian
French composer of "Suite
Word I rearrange to make French
Sounds like this preacher nit
starts with tedium? (11)
George Smart designed the organ in
this Northern England town (5)
Local palace frequented by 19
The number of speaking stops on
the St Edmund's organ (two words) (11)
One of the two types of organ pipe (4)
Who sell this English composer? (7)
Do you remember Fame and --- (5)
Can you hunt down this German
friend of Elgar? (6)
and 24 across Eighteenth Century
English composer, organist of the
Chapel Royal and Master of the
King's Music to George II (7)
French composer of
Is Duel an English composer
admired by 1 across? (6)
The number of manuals that St
Edmund's organ has (5)
Cathedral which began the
tradition of the service of nine
lessons and carols (5)
One of the two types of organ pipe (4)
Prelude - Lullay, Thou Little Tiny Child - C.Armstrong Gibbs (1889-1960)
Postlude - Vom Himmel Hoch, Da Komm' Ich Her - J.Pachelbel (1653-1707)
Prelude - Chorale Prelude on "Stuttgart" - Flor Peeters (1903-1986)
Postlude - Prelude and Fugue No 1 (BWV 553) - J.S.Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude - Chorale Prelude on "Dix" - Malcolm Archer
Postlude - Prelude and Fugue No 2 (BWV 554) - J.S.Bach
Prelude - Adagio (Symphony No 3) - C.Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
Postlude - Prelude and Fugue No 3 (BWV 555) - J.S.Bach
Prelude - Pastorale - J.Lubbock
Postlude - Prelude and Fugue No 4 (BWV 556) - J.S.Bach
FROM THE CONSOLE - DECEMBER 2004
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For me, as I suspect for many people around the world, Christmas really begins with the service of Nine Lessons and Carols from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge (above). This service dates from Christmas Eve 1918, although the format had been used in Truro Cathedral for the previous forty years. The service has been broadcast annually for over seventy years, even during the Second World War when the glass had been removed from the Chapel and the name of King’s could not be broadcast for security reasons. The service is open to the public and those joining the queue by 10.30am are generally admitted. I regret not having attending this service during my three years at Cambridge and I hope to make it one day!
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One of the carols often performed is Peter Warlock’s "Bethlehem Down" - one of my favourite carols. Peter Warlock (above) was born Philip Heseltine in London’s Savoy Hotel in 1894. He had little formal training but developed a love of the music of Delius, who was to be a great influence on his own compositions. He was also a close friend of the writer D.H.Lawrence and his pseudonym reflected his interest in the occult. Running short of money, he entered the Daily Telegraph’s annual carol-writing competition in 1927 with Bruce Blunt’s poem "Bethlehem Down":
"When He is King we will give him the King's gifts, Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,
Beautiful robes," said the young girl to Joseph, Fair with her first-born on Bethlehem Down.
Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight, Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,
Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music, Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.
When He is King they will clothe him in grave-sheets, Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown,
He that lies now in the white arms of Mary, Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down.
Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming, Close huddled oxen to keep him from cold,
Mary for love, and for lullaby music, Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.
They subsequently won the competition and apparently used the winnings to finance an "immoral carouse". Sadly he suffered bouts of depression and in 1930 killed himself by gas poisoning in his Chelsea flat at the age of just 36. To listen to a performance of "Bethlehem Down", click here.
May I take this opportunity to wish all of you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any comments or questions I would be very pleased to hear from you.
Prelude - Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (BWV645) - J.S.Bach (1685-1750)
Postlude - Carillon - L.Vierne (1870-1937)
Prelude - Advent Reflections - R.Bonighton (1946-)
Postlude - Nun Komm' Der Heiden Heiland (BWV 599) - J.S.Bach
Dec 19th (10.00am)
Prelude - Desseins Eternals - O.Messiaen (1908-1992)
Postlude - Joie et Clarte des corps glorieux - O.Messiaen
Dec 19th (6.30pm)
Prelude - Six Interludes on Christmas Carols - W.Lloyd-Webber (1914-1982)
Postlude - In Dulci Jubilo - J.S.Bach & Final (Symphonie No.1) - L.Vierne
Dec 24th (11.30pm)
Prelude - A Christmas Rhapsody - David Sanger
Postlude - In Dulci Jubilo - J.S.Bach & Toccata (Symphonie No.5) - C.Widor (1844-1937)
Prelude - In Dulci Jubilo - D.Buxtehude (1637-1707)
Postlude - In Dulci Jubilo - J.S.Bach
Prelude - Coventry Carol - B.Roe
Postlude - Interlude on "Good King Wenceslas" - W.Lloyd-Webber
FROM THE CONSOLE - NOVEMBER 2004
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Edward Elgar was born at Broadheath near Worcester in 1857 (this cottage is now home to the Elgar Birthplace museum). His father was a local organist and ran a music shop and Edward was largely self-taught as a musician. He eventually succeeded his father as organist of St George's Church in Worcester.
His Enigma Variations were first performed in 1899 in St James' Hall in London. They are a musical representation of fourteen of his friends (and a dog!). The ninth and most famous variation is "Nimrod". A.J.Jaeger worked for music publishers Novello and became a life-long friend. Jaeger is German for hunter and Nimrod was God's mighty hunter in the Old Testament (Genesis 10:8). The music is a representation of a conversation the two men had about Beethoven's music.
There has long been speculation that the enigma referred to is a second unheard tune which fits with the theme of the variations - "Auld Lang Syne" being commonly suggested! Nothing has been proved and it is entirely possible that this was one of Elgar's practical jokes and no such tune exists! Click here to listen to a performance of "Nimrod", which I will be playing at the Remembrance Day service on Nov 14th. At that service I will also be playing Albert Matt's "Fame and Glory". Nowadays he is almost exclusively known for this march which is used to accompany the marching of veterans past the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
Prelude - Concerto No 2 in A Minor (BWV 593) - Second Movement: J.S.Bach (1685-1750)
Postlude - Concerto No 2 in A Minor (BWV 593) - First Movement: J.S.Bach
Nov 14th (10.00am)
Prelude - Nimrod - Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Postlude - Fame and Glory - Albert Matt
Nov 14th (3.30pm)
Prelude - Pavane - G.Faure (1845-1924)
Postlude - Sicilienne - Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824)
Prelude - Adagio for Strings - Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Postlude - Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - George Handel (1695-1759)
Nov 28th (Advent Sunday)
Prelude - O Come, O Come Emmanuel - C.Hand (1929- )
Postlude - Toccata - E.Gigout (1844-1925)
FROM THE CONSOLE - OCTOBER 2004
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At the end of August, Aline, Alex and I visited Paris for a couple of days and I managed to visit a couple of churches which were associated with two of the greatest organ composers, Cesar Franck and Olivier Messiaen.
The church of La Trinité (above) is located just north of the opera house; it was designed by Théodore Ballu and built between 1861 and 1867. In 1869 the church played host to the funeral of the composer Hector Berlioz and a year later Alexandre Guilmant was appointed organist. In 1931, at the age of 22, Olivier Messian was appointed organist at La Trinité, a post he was to hold for over sixty years until his death in 1992. Le Banquet Celeste was Messiaen's first organ composition and was written in 1928. It was inspired by a verse from St John's Gospel: "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me and I in him."
The church of St.Clothilde is situated close to the Musee d'Orsay. It was completed in 1857 under the supervision of Ballu who had also been responsible for La Trinité. The first organist was Cesar Franck who performed Bach's B Minor Prelude and Fugue at the inaugural recital and held the post until his death in 1890. His most famous work is arguably the motet "Panis Angelicus", frequently heard at St.Edmund's (audio clip here).
Prelude - Air and Variation - C.Franck (1822-1890)
Postlude - Grand Coeur in D - A.Guilmant (1837-1911)
Prelude - Berceuse - C.Franck
Postlude - Prelude in B Minor - J.S.Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude - Allegretto - C.Franck
Postlude - Sonata No 2 (1st Movement) - P.Hindemith (1885-1963)
Prelude - Le Banquet Celeste - O.Messiaen (1908-1992)
Postlude - Processional - W.Matthias (1934-1992)
FROM THE CONSOLE - SEPTEMBER 2004
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William Boyce was born in the City of London in September 1711. He became a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral at the age of 12 and received lessons from the organist, Maurice Greene (composer of the harvest anthem "Thou Visitest the Earth"). Boyce was appointed composer at the Chapel Royal in 1736 and would later become one of three Chapel organists there. He also held posts at several London churches including St Michael's, Cornhill and the now defunct All Hallows, Thames Street. He was appointed Master of the King's Music by George II in 1755. Edward Elgar held the position for 10 years and it is currently held by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Boyce's hearing deteriorated towards the end of his life and he died in 1779, aged 67. He was buried under the dome of St Paul's Cathedral and the combined choirs of the Chapel Royal, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral sang at his funeral.
His compositions include orchestral, choral, chamber and instrumental music. He wrote a number of organ voluntaries which I shall be playing as postludes during September. These consist of a slow introduction followed by a quicker, longer section. You can hear the Voluntary No 1 on the Internet by clicking here
Prelude - Canon in D - J.Pachelbel (1653-1707)
Postlude - Voluntary No 1 - W.Boyce (1711-1779)
Prelude - Ave Maria - G.Caccini (1545-1618)
Postlude - Voluntary No 5 - W.Boyce