REVIEW: Tickhill Music Society’s winter season off to a splendid start

St Mary's Church in Tickhill, by Ray Sykes.
St Mary's Church in Tickhill, by Ray Sykes.

Tickhill Music Society’s first concert of the winter season was held in the airy spaciousness of the town’s St Mary’s Church.

The guest artist was David Houlder, sub-organist from Leeds Parish Church,

He began with Suite Gothique, by Léon Boëllmann (1862-1897), a four movement work with an introduction of stately chords, a jolly choral, a placid third movement and a march-like Toccata to end.

Next came Johann Sebastian Bach with a tuneful Cantata 156 and the popular Sheep may safely graze.

Master Tallis’s Testament, by Herbert Howells (1892-1983), had three verses starting quietly and getting louder.

Rondoletto, by the Lancastrian Ernest Tomlinson, was a country dance tune in the light music tradition.

The first half ended with the theme tune from Songs of Praise, commissioned by the BBC in 1980.

After the interval came more theme music from more recent Songs of Praise’ programmes.

This was a lively piece by the aptly named Robert Prizeman and has been used since 1986.

Prelude and Fugue in C Minor by Vaughan Williams was not in his popular pastoral style, but a much more robust affair, the Fugue being a complex double fugue.

Departing somewhat from the Western music tradition, the piece by the Nigerian-born Fela Sowande, Obangiji, had a bold introduction followed by some complex harmonies.

The contemporary composer Derek Bourgeois wrote his Serenade for his own wedding.

It had a jaunty tune followed by some intricate variations rising to a climax and then fading away.

Mr Houlder said parts were in complex 11/8 time – in fact, several times Mr Houlder gave the audience helpful comments about the music.

The concert ended with Fantasia & Ground Bass by Sir George Dyson.

This had free-flowing variations which climbed to a real mountain of sound giving a triumphant end to a splendid concert.

The season has got off to a splendid start.