classical music
classical music

Catherine Ennis: Vierne & Bach

Part of Classical Season 2018/19

English concert organist Catherine Ennis performs one of the most famous organ toccatas, at the conclusion of Louis Vierne’s First Organ Symphony.

A great early 20th-century composer for the organ, Vierne was the organist of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and wrote Six Organ Symphonies.

The First Organ Symphony appeared in 1899 and is in six movements. It opens with a Prelude and Fugue, followed by a Pastorale made up of a dialogue between the Flute and Oboe stops – sounds associated with pastoral music.

The Allegro vivace is an impromptu for the flute stops, and the exquisite Adagio leads to the celebrated Final – one of the most well-loved and best-known pieces in the organ repertoire – a Toccata in all but name.

The first half of the concert features a set of variations by Mendelssohn, and Bach’s Partita ‘Sei gegrüßet Jesu gütig’ – a masterpiece which takes the theme through a wide variety of twists and turns, and explores the rich tonal palette of Royal Festival Hall’s majestic concert organ.

Ennis returns to Southbank Centre after a 2007 performance described as ‘lyrically romantic’ by The Organ.

Her international organ recital career has taken her on tour throughout Europe and the USA, and to major UK venues including the BBC Proms.


Catherine Ennis organ


Mendelssohn: Organ Sonata in D minor, Op.65 No.6
Saint-Saëns: Prelude and Fugue No.2 in B for organ, Op.99 No.2
JS Bach: Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig - chorale variations for organ, BWV.768
Vierne: Symphonie No.1 in D minor for organ, Op.14

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)

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Related events
Royal Festival Hall at 6.15pm: pre-concert talk. Gillian Moore MBE, Director of Music at Southbank Centre, hosts a discussion with Catherine Ennis. They are joined by award-winning organists Anne Marsden Thomas MBE and Ghislaine Reece-Trapp, founders of the Society of Women Organists (SWO), which is dedicated to celebrating female organists across the UK, and inspiring ambitious, confident and creative performers.

Book 2 to 3 events in the International Organ Series in the same transaction and save 10% on tickets, or book 4 events and save 20%.

Discounted student tickets are available from Student Pulse in the month before this concert. Some of these seats are on the stage. Download the Student Pulse app or register online