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Organ Recital at Aberdare.I


Organ Recital at Aberdare. On Thursday evening last an ex- cellent organ recital was given at Beth- ania (C.M.) Chapel. The artistes were: Mr Alfred Hollins, of Edinburgh, the world-renowned blind organist; Miss Dilys Jones, London, the famous Welsh contralto, and Mr Lloyd Chandos, Lon- don, the great English tenor. The pro- gramme opened with a splendid com- position, entitled Overture No. 1," composed by Mr Hollina, and dedicated to the late Dr E. J. Hopkins, whose pupil he was. The manner in which the organist played his opening overture showed clearly that he was a remark- ably fine player. Miss Dilys Jones sang the song, Easter Hymn (F. Bridge) excellently, and had to respond to an encore by singing Cariad Mam." An- other organ selection, Andante in F Sharp Minor" (Wesley) was played by Mr Hollins, and brought forth rounds of applause, to which the organist re- peatedly bowed. Mr Lloyd Chandos sang Far from my heavenly home" (Teschemacher), and responded to an irresistible encore with Love of the Moon." An old Welsh song was next given by Miss Dilys Jones, who had quite infected her audience with her delight- ful singing, again responding with an encore song. Part 1. closed with one of Bach's Fugues, Prelude and Fugue in D." Mr Hollins gave a beautiful example of the great master's smooth and contin- uous writing; the Fugue is a technical study from beginning to end. This is the only programme in the Aberdare Valley this season which contained a Fugue by Bach. They are among the highest and most difficult forms of organ music, and Mr Hollins played the Fugue in a masterly manner. Part II. opened with an organ improvisation by the organist. Professor R. Howells played Captain Morgan's March" on the piano, and Mr Hollins, who is consid- ered facile princeps among organists of the present day, gave a marvellous interpretation of the march on the or- gan. Mr Lloyd Chandos sang by request Sound an Alarm (Handel), his rich voice being heard to advantage in this difficult solo, the concluding bars being played on the organ; the finale was something majestic. Mr Chandos had to sing an encore song. Gounod's March Militaire" was next played by Mr Hollins. This march was originally written for a military band, but makes a very effective organ piece. The mili- tary character is particularly striking in the Coda. Miss Dilys Jones sang an old Welsh song, Hobed o Hilion," and in response to loud applause gave Yr Hen Wr Mwyn as an encore. Miss Jores was again encored, and 6ang Up upon the Downs." The last two songs were very humorous. Two more se- lections, composed by Mr Hollins—(a) Intermezzo"; (b) A Song of Sun- shine "—were played in fine style. Mr Lloyd Chandos gave a lovely ren- dering of Mendelssohn's Be thou faithful into death (St. Paul), and as an encore saug A Psalm of Life." The last item was the overture, William Tell" (Rossini). This well-known over- ture is Rossini's masterpiece, and the masterly manner in which Mr Hollins played it will long be remembered. The final bars played on the great organ rolled and reverberated through the edifice. and brought to a close one of the best organ recitals ever given in the town. Professor R. Howells accom- panied the vocalists in his usual fault- less manner. The secretary of the re- cital was Mr W. B. Stephens, the organ- ist of Bethania. There was a large number present, including nearly all the organists of the district for milos around, and a hope was expressed that Mr Hollins would pay another early visit to Aberdare.

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