REVIEW: Samuel Wesley at the Wesley Room by John Packwood 7/10
BORN on February 24, 1766, Samuel was the son of Charles Wesley. He taught himself to read and write music from an early age and having studied in Bristol, moved up to London when he was eight to pursue a musical career. He was particularly expert on the works of Bach, the study of which he pursued with great enthusiasm.
This programme was presented by Philip Burnett, who is particularly interested in developing a small museum on Hymnody (the study of composing and writing of hymns) in 4 Charles Street, one of Samuel's original homes.
The Fitzhardinge Consort opened with one of Samuel's hymns, Stand Up and Bless the Lord and his Might I in Thy Sight was sung tastefully.
This was followed by four early compositions arranged for flute and organ and Sarah Fenton gave excellent renditions of these folk tunes. Philip then played the best known of the composer's organ works, Air and Gavotte, which sounded perfect on the chapel's 1761 organ. The madrigal O sing unto me for five voices was set to a poem by Bristol poet, Thomas Chatterton, whilst in Fuga from Duet for Organ Philip was joined by Benedict Todd in a slick performance.
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