as part of the Honiton Antiques Festival, the Joanna Leach Foundation and Music at St Paul’s presented a concert in St Paul’s Church featuring the distinguished international organ recitalist Douglas Hollick.

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The organ at St Paul’s, built by Kenneth Tickell in 1999, is widely recognised as the finest church organ in the South West, and under Mr Hollick’s agile hands (and feet!)

Its full majestic potential was fully demonstrated, on Tuesday, November 13.

The programme showed that music does not have to be well known to be accessible, tuneful, emotionally profound – and simply thrilling.

Douglas Hollick played a carefully contrasted choice of mainly 17th-century pieces from Germany, England and France, prefacing each group with a succinct and learned introduction setting the music in a broader cultural context.

His playing – the fruit of long familiarity with historical performance practice - was exemplary: technically impeccable, emotionally mature, sensitive and, when needed, dramatic.

His skilful registration deployed the full range of tone-colours of the organ, but always in the service of the music.

The organ of St Paul’s is a major cultural asset for the town, East Devon and the region.

It could have had no more persuasive advocate than Douglas Hollick.

One hopes for further concerts of this quality – and bigger audiences.

Andrew Carter

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