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Top organist brings French Fancies to Leeds Town Hall


Leeds Town Hall organ, played by Professor Ian Tracey

Leeds Town Hall organ, played by Professor Ian Tracey

By David Mackie

One of the country’s leading organists played a French-themed concert at Leeds Town Hall today, describing coming to the venue as a ‘red letter day’ for him.

Professor Ian Tracey, organist at Liverpool Cathedral, has played in Leeds every year for the last 35 years. He complimented the town hall’s acoustics, ambience and the organ itself, which is the largest of its kind in Europe.

Prof Tracey played a programme of select organ pieces titled French Fancies, including du Mage’s ‘Livre d’orgue’ and an organ version of Debussy’s ‘Submerged Cathedral’.

He also played Franck’s long lost 1854 ‘Pièce d’Orgue’, which was tracked down and pieced together by scholars in the 1990s. This is only the second UK performance of the piece, after Ian premiered it in Liverpool last year.

Prof Tracey said: “I was putting a programme together and I knew we had to play it at Leeds, because it’ll sound really rather wonderful on the Leeds organ.”

The concert concluded with a performance of Widor’s Allegro from his Sixth Symphony. Admission to the event was free.

Organist Professor Ian Tracey

Organist Professor Ian Tracey

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