An hour in heaven with Bach, thanks to AJ Bethke
Dr Andrew-John Bethke, Director of Music at Grahamstown’s Cathedral, gave his farewell recital on the organ in the Kingswood College Chapel.
Tuesday 21 March was Johann Sebastian Bach’s 332nd birthday. Kingswood celebrates this annually as part of its ongoing, informal Bach Project. At this year’s commemoration, Dr Bethke gave a beautifully designed and registered programme of organ music by the great musician.
The programme had variety – chorale preludes, preludes, fugues (including the “St Ann” fugue which concluded the recital), arrangements of pieces for orchestra for the organ and even movements from the big choral partita, Sei gegrusset.
Improvements to the Kingswood Chapel organ have recently been made.
Dr Bethke exploited these and other sounds to the full. There was a wonderful variety of colour and tone in his choice of stops.
We had an hour with Bach in the Castle of Heaven.