Battle of the organs wows crowd

OTTERY St Mary enjoyed some world class organ music as an anniversary treat.

Professor Ian Tracey was joined by international concert organist Carlo Curley and his grand touring organ for a “Battle of the Organs” in Ottery Parish Church.

Ian, one of Britain’s best known and most widely respected musicians, having been organist at the monumental Anglican Cathedral in his home town of Liverpool for almost 30 years, has been visiting Ottery for 30 years. The concert was arranged to mark this special occasion.

Organiser Michael Farley said the feast of summer music had attracted between 200 and 300 people.

“The church was full,” he said.

“It was great to have two top class recitalists play here, quite unique. It shows what friends in high places can do.”

It was Ian’s suggestion to invite Carlo along. “We didn’t think it would work out at first, but people have been very helpful,” said Michael.

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He said the pieces of music the duo performed were ‘amazing’.

“Everyone went away with a smile on their face,” he said. “There was good organ music for the organ buffs alongside lighter stuff. The finale was Stars and Stripes forever.”

Ian will be taking a year out next year, Michael added, but there would still be a summer concert of some description and the organist would be back in the future, as he and Carlo had enjoyed playing to the Ottery crowd.

He said: “Carlo sent me several emails afterward saying he’d had a wonderful time, as did Ian.”

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