German organist to perform final recital in St Albans International Organ Festival Saturday series

PUBLISHED: 14:40 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:40 17 May 2017

German organist Franz Josef Stoiber visits St Albans for the final recital in this season's St Albans International Organ Festival Saturday recital series

German organist Franz Josef Stoiber visits St Albans for the final recital in this season's St Albans International Organ Festival Saturday recital series


A world-renowned German organist visits St Albans this weekend for the final concert in this season’s St Albans International Organ Festival Saturday recital series.

Franz Josef Stoiber will round off the 2016-17 Saturday recital series at St Albans Cathedral on Saturday, May 20 with a quirky programme mixing improvisations with special arrangements for organ of music by Vivaldi and Bruckner.

Following an opening improvisation based on a medieval chant, audiences will hear Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor in an arrangement by that giant of the organ J S Bach, who is thought to have prepared it as a showpiece to perform on the newly restored organ at the Court of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar in May 1714.

Further improvisations and a grand Victorian-style arrangement of an aria from Handel’s Messiah by Guilmant.

The centre piece of the programme will be an arrangement of the Scherzo from Bruckner’s Symphony No. 0, so-called because it was published posthumously.

Bruckner himself was a highly talented organist and master of improvisation, and this Scherzo with its stomping rhythms and lyrical melodies lends itself perfectly to performance on the organ.

Entry to the recital, which starts at 5.30pm, is free, with a retiring collection in aid of the International Organ Festival Society.

After the recital, the audience will have the opportunity to meet the soloist at a reception in the North Transept.

• Tickets are now on sale for the 2017 St Albans International Organ Festival.

View full details of the festival at


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