On Saturday (4th September), OV Peter Holder (Br 01-08 & King’s St Alban’s) stepped in at very short notice to deputise for a BBC Proms Concert, in place of Thomas Trotter, as part of the Classical Music Festival taking place from July to September. Peter’s concert was to pay tribute to centenary composer Saint-Saëns and his legendary performances on the Royal Albert Hall organ in the 1800s.
The programme was wide ranging, including Liszt’s largest organ work, written for the ‘piano-melodium’ (which is an organ-piano hybrid), and the opening movement from the most celebrated of French master Widor’s 10 symphonies for organ:
• Giacomo Meyebeer’s Le phropheté – Coronation March
• Johann Sebastian Bach’s Fantasia and Fuge in C Minor
• Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony No. 5 – Allegro Vivace
• Camille Saint-Saëns’ Fantaisie No. 1 in E flat major
• Franz Liszt’s Fantasia and Fuge on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’
Peter is currently Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey and the principal organist for daily services, concerts, and state occasions (when they are allowed to take place!).
When asked about the concert, Peter said: “I was very sorry that Thomas Trotter was indisposed, and it was an honour to be asked to cover for such a titan of the organ world. The programme combined two Proms 2021 themes, the 150th anniversary of the Royal Albert Hall and centenary composer Camille Saint-Saëns, celebrating in particular the composer’s contribution to recitals at the Hall in 1871 and 1880. It was a treat to put together – albeit in haste! – and a thrill to perform on the awe-inspiring Albert Hall organ once again.”
You can listen to the broadcast on BBC Sounds here