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Nigel Ogden Review

Posted: Wednesday 21st May

We thought our readers may be interested in this from Cyril Cowland.

Nigel Ogden paid his third visit to play the Makin Westmorland Custom organ installed at the Methodist Church, Alton last week. His programme, as often, reflected various commemorations and anniversaries which occur in the year, and his first item, a Kenneth Alford march, remembered the First World War. This was followed by music from the Strauss family (and others) featured in the films The Great Waltz, and 4 more recent melodies to complement the spell of better weather - reminders of Spring, lilacs and tulips. Another film, Mary Poppins, from 1964, provided a selection, to be followed in turn by the Intermezzo and Easter Hymn from Cavelleria Rusticana by Mascagni. Bringing the programme up to the interval was a selection of very varied music from the range of CDs which he had for sale for the audience to take home to enjoy - from Look for the Silver Lining and Pick Yourself Up to Angel Voices Ever Singing and Love Divine. (His latest recording is of hymn tunes and associated music played on the organ of his home church in Lancashire.)

After a break, Nigel played 3 of the British entries, of past years, in the Eurovision Song Contest, and 2 memorable ballads from shows by Marvin Hamlisch. A selection from the film The Desert Song (music by Sigmund Romberg) , also from 1964, was followed by nine of Cole Porter's songs; he died in that year. The evening was brought to a close with the tone poem Finlandia by Sibelius, and one of Nigel's "Wurlitzer" medleys to get the toes tapping, starting with The Trolley Song and finshing with Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be and (appropriately) Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye. As an encore, we were treated to a special Ogden Opus - The Teddy Bear's Picnic, incorporating Nigel's trade marks - I do like to be beside the seaside and Show me the way to go home. Thus a very entertaing mixed bag evening showing what can be achieved on the organ primarily used for church services, but having a night off under the deft fingers (and feet)of a master craftsman (which we were also able to watch on screen).

A great night was had by all!


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