In the world of organs, the Frobenius brand is king. It is the Rolls-Royce equivalent, the Loubotins of the organ world. Their power and range is something that can be appreciated by classical enthusiasts and casual listeners alike. The organ scholar of Canongate Kirk, Edward Dewhirst, excelled in his virtuoso performance on the mighty instrument, which left all in the building calling for more.
The performance was structured around the ‘Grand Tour’: the immersive culture trips young gentlemen would take around Europe from the late seventeenth century. Therefore the performances moved from France to Germany to Italy, around the Iberian Peninsula and back again. At the same time the pieces advanced chronologically as well, until we reached the early twentieth century. As structures go it added flavour to the performance, augmented by Dewhirst’s confident introductions.
The pieces themselves were outstanding. J S Bach’s Toccata in D is perhaps one of most well-known organ pieces and Dewhirst’s performance brought his own take on the legend. His right hand never skipped on the complicated runs down the keyboard while the chords were impressively deep and meaty, using the organ’s full potential. In contrast, Buxtehude’s light and airy Ciacone in E and a piece by Max Reger presented the quieter side to the organ. Dewhirst’s control of the organ at this point was particularly impressive. He saved best till last however, using the acoustic of the kirk to its full with the blockbuster chords of Gaston Belier’s Toccata, before Handel’s Music to Fireworks rounded everything off. A superb demonstration of exceptional musical talent.