The opening concert in the Totnes Festival is given by Richard Lester, former Associate organist at Buckfast Abbey, and once described in both The Times and the Daily Telegraph as ‘one of our leading players.’
The programme for the festival includes Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor, together with Frescobaldi’s compelling ‘Fiori Musicali’, which highlights the Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary which takes place today. The St Mary’s, Totnes choir, directed by Mike Gibbons, will sing the Gregorian plainchant of the Fiori Masses.
Other works in the programme include music by George Friderick Handel, Giovanni Gabrieli and Sweelinck’s famous variations on ‘Mein junges leben hat ein end.’
The organ, built in 1983 by William Drake of Buckfastleigh is ideal for the music of this programme as it is designed on neo-classical lines that encompass both the renaissance and the Baroque eras. The concert is the first of five organ recitals in the Festival (see separate details listed under St Mary’s Church.)
Richard’s recordings have achieved the ‘outstanding’ accolade in several leading CD magazines, and gained a prominent place in The Penguin Guide to the 1000 Finest Classical Recordings. In 1983 his recording of sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti was chosen by Dame Janet Baker as her favourite on BBC Desert Island Discs.