Genial mix of music and song included familiar favourites

Steve Page

Stephen Page brought a genial mix of music and song to the Emmanuel Centre in Battle as part of this year’s Battle Festival.

The first half was loosely focused on classical often familiar pieces, opening with Susato’s Mohrentanz. The next three works for organ brought together a romantic work by Scotson Clark, his Marche des Fantomes, Buxtehude’s Choral Prelude Now Come Redeemer and the Rondo from Purcell’s Abdelazer.

Stephen then moved to the piano, commencing with a delightful rendition of Chaminade’s Automne, moving through works by Zez Confrey and John Ireland to settle eventually on Bach’s Air On A G string.

Astor Piazolla’s gently melancholic tango Mumuki gave way to Robert Farnon’s Jumping Bean before he returned to the organ for a rousing rendition of Strauss’ Radetzky March.

The second half was given over to music from stage and screen. After the exhilaration of The Entry Of The Gladiators the solo part of the evening wound down with Send In The Clowns and the waltz tune from Genevieve. At this point we were invited to join in familiar songs from The King And I, The Sound Of Music and My Fair Lady.

This should have been the end but Stephen was persuaded to provide an encore which he did – singing for us Sydney Carter’s Down Below, whose wistful images sent us off home smiling. By Brian Hick.

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