The Usher Hall’s monumental organ celebrated its 100th birthday in 2014. Delphian artist and Edinburgh City Organist John Kitchen has established a hugely popular series of concerts at the Hall, and draws on its repertoire to follow up his 2004 recording of the then newly restored instrument with a programme that further represents the vast variety of music that draws in the Edinburgh crowds.
Opening with an evocative new work by Cecilia McDowall, the first part of the programme resounds with the theme of bells (including the instrument’s extraordinary carillon). Jeremy Cull’s compelling transcription of Hamish MacCunn’s The Land of the Mountain and the Flood displays all of Kitchen’s virtuosic aplomb, while the Dance Variations on ‘Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer’ are a much delighted-in annual request. A recital of this nature wouldn’t be complete without a major piece of Bach, here dispatched with appropriately Edwardian swagger.