Internationally recognized organist John Scott gave an inspiring performance at St John’s Church on Friday night — his love and passion for the organ were evident. 

He opened his concert with the attention-grabbing Buxtehude (1637/39-1707) Praeludium in A minor. The Fantasia Chromatica by Sweelinck (1562-1621) served as an introduction to the Toccata Chromatica by Ad Wammes.

Wammes took the chromatic theme from Sweelinck’s Fantasia and turned it into something fun and contemporary. 

The off-beat rhythms, modern sounding melodies and harmonies, and interplay between voices created a playful character.

Scott’s masterful delivery of Bach’s (1685-1750) Trio super: Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr was brilliant — clean with a light registration and fluid
ornamentation.

The first half of the concert ended with Mozart’s (1756-1791) Adagio in C and Fantasia in F

The two pieces stood in stark contrast with each other, with the soothing sweetness of the Adagio followed by the sheer bombastic power of the Fantasia.

The second half included more contemporary organ music from the 20th century. 

Variations de Concert by Bonnet (1884-1944) is an epic work for organ with an impressive virtuoso passage for the pedals, while the Chanson de Matin by Elgar (1857-1934) is short and sweet. 

The Impromptu by Vierne (1870-1937) with its swirling complexity of intermingling melodies and almost humorous pedal preceded the quiet, shimmery, and almost other worldly sounds of Vierne’s Etoile du Soir

Scott closed his concert with the Carillon de Westminster and its slightly erroneous Big Ben theme. Then he played Noel Rawsthorne’s amusing Hornpipe Humoresque as an encore.

Overall, Scott showcased the versatility and diversity of the organ through his choice of repertoire and registration, and his technical brilliance and virtuosity were impressive. It was a privilege to hear an organist of such prestige bring the music of the organ to life in Bermuda. 

John Scott performed at Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts.