World Premiere to take place at Southwark Cathedral

On Thursday 30 May, Southwark Cathedral Sub Organist Simon Hogan gives the world premiere of An Aquinian Sequence, a newly composed work by Anthony Gray. The piece intersperses atmospheric plainsong-based movements with the chance to hear some of the most inspirational Eucharistic texts of St Thomas Aquinas read by Canon Kathryn Fleming.

Speaking of this upcoming performance of An Aquinian Sequence, Simon says: ‘I am hugely looking forward to giving the debut performance of this wonderful new work by Anthony Gray in an incense filled Southwark Cathedral. It uses the full capabilities of the Cathedral organ to explore eight Eucharistic plainsong melodies in a variety of forms, from a Chorale Prelude inspired by J.S. Bach through to quasi-French improvisatory flourishes and toccatas, with everything in between. The pieces will be interspersed with new poetic translations of Aquinas’ texts and I’m sure that various movements will become firm favourites in organists’ repertoires for years to come.’

Anthony Gray, composer of An Aquinian Sequence adds: ‘An Aquinian Sequence is a set of preludes and fantasies based on the plainsong melodies of the devotional texts of St Thomas Aquinas. The pieces are designed to function both as stand-alone entities, performable separately; or, when played together, to explore the full range and depth and colour in the melodies. They respond musically to Aquinas’s texts, in new poetic translations by Edward Joyner. The music is deliberately written in a smorgasbord of contemporary styles, ranging from the atmospheric, meditative and spacious to lively, driving and often angst-ridden. It has been especially composed for my good friend, Simon Hogan, Southwark Cathedral’s Sub-Organist and Assistant Director of Music.’ 

The world premiere of An Aquinian Sequence takes place at 7pm on Thursday 30 May as part of an organ meditation to mark the feast of Corpus Christi. Admission is free with a retiring collection, though tickets may be booked in advance if desired.