Contributed by Richard Allen
Michael T. C. Hey, Concert organist, presented a program in conjunction with the Baltimore Chapter and the Ars Sacra Concert Series of Ss. Philip and James Roman Catholic Church.
Mr. Hey‘s varied program which was attended by a most appreciative audience on Sunday afternoon May, 19th at Ss. Philip and James Church. Mr. Hey is the Associate Director of Music and Organist at the famed Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. His playing certainly demonstrated why he is regarded as one of he finest concert organists of the day.
His program began with an exciting reading of the Widor Allegro movement from his Symphony No. 6, Op.42, No. 2. Mr. Hey’s tempo certainly created an exciting presentation as did the registration used on this fine Casavant Organ.
Two selections, seldom heard, were the Bingham Roulade and the Buck Variations on The Last Rose of Summer, Op. 59. Mr. Hey’s registration showed off the many colors of this organ as well as his virtuoso technique.
Personally, I have never heard on the organ Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, No 1. It was most exciting to hear the entire piece, and we all are perhaps too familiar the section so often played at this time of the year! A most interesting and rewarding selection to be programmed.
Jeremy Filsell’s arrangement of Cochereau’s Scherzo Symphonique was delightful and again demonstrated Mr. Hey’s skill at the keyboard and his choice of registrations.
The Dancing Pipes by Jonathan Dove was most interesting and sounded wonderful with Michael’s choice of registrations. The selection was probably new to many but was well received.
A most demanding piece to play is Leo Sowerby’s Pageant. Not only are fingers flying over all of the keyboards, so are the feet! What an exciting piece to end the program.
Mr. Hey not only demonstrated an outstanding technique and keen choice for registrations, he gave personal and informative comments regarding the selections.
The formal program ended with Mr. Hey leading the congregation in the singing of the well-known hymn tune Hyfrydol, again demonstrating his skill as organist for congregational singing along with a most interesting harmonization of the final verse.
Mr. Hey’s brilliant playing was demonstrated with a brief encore and all left the church inspired by the tremendous skill of this young player and magnificent sounds of the Casavant Organ.
All look forward to such programs presented in Baltimore in the future.