March 7 （日本語は明日追加します）
Today was an extremely interesting and productive day for students and teachers of the organists' guild. The students were divided into two groups of seven for a full day of lessons in two London churches. Anne Marsden Thomas, founder of the St Giles International Organ School, and a prominent organ teacher and performer, very kindly made all the arrangements for the day, right down to places for lunch and tea. If you would like to know more about Anne, here is her website: http://www.annemarsdenthomas.com/
Yuko Sakiyma and Mark Stahl went with the group which Anne taught, and I accompanied and translated for the group taught by Frederick Stocken. Frederick is known as an organist, organ teacher, and a composer. Here is his website: http://www.frederickstocken.com/ I was really impressed by the way in which Frederick could pinpoint things that students needed to correct, while at the same time giving them confidence in their performance, further drawing out their innate musicality. From my talks with Mark and Yuko, who were with the other group, I understand that Anne was able to do the same with that group. Clearly, we were blessed with two master teachers for the lessons today.
The instruments at our disposal for the day were a study in contrasts. My group first went to St James Clerkenwell, which has an absolute jewel of an organ built by England in 1792. It is the ideal instrument for the performance of English Baroque and Rococo music. Performances of voluntarism by John Stanley, in particular, absolutely shimmered. The Cornet stop was the best I have ever heard, and each stop had a similar beauty and quality to it. Here are some photos of the organ, church, and lesson group with Frederick. I should also mention that the day began with an hour of improvisation techniques that were eminently usable. Students were able to pick up on the ideas quickly, and should be able to implement them once they return to Tokyo.
After a lunch at the Barbican Centre for both groups, we exchanged churches, my group proceeding to St Giles Cripplegate (Anne's church and the home of the St Giles International Organ School). Though there are three organs in the church (!), we used only the large organ rebuilt by Noel Mander in the balcony. The other organs are a small Tickell practice organ and a medium-size John Mander organ. The large Mander works very well for the Romantic and modern literature. Students concentrated on English organ music of this period, and were coached on the ways of interpreting music of Howells and others of the period. Photos of St Giles:
At the end, we all gathered for tea back at the Barbican before saying farewell to these dedicated teachers who spent the day with us. Thank you very much, Anne and Frederick! Here they are with Chaplain Mark Stahl:
Tomorrow should also be a fine day. Anne Marsden Thomas has arranged an organ crawl with visits to several prominent London churches. A report on that tomorrow.