Buckfast Abbey hosts musical preview event for former organist’s CD

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Saturday 14th May 2022 4:00 pm
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Father Sebastian Wolff and Richard Lea (. )

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Buckfast Abbey is hosting a special musical preview event on Sunday (May 15) to launch a new CD featuring the complete organ music of its former organist, Father Sebastian Wolff.

The event has been organised to celebrate fr Sebastian’s significant contribution to the world of organ music in the 20th century, and will consist of a 30-minute concert recital and presentation of the CD in the Abbey Church, followed by a drinks reception with him in the abbey’s newly refurbished Schiller Hall.

Fr Sebastian has been a monk at Buckfast Abbey since 1948 and his name is synonymous with its rich musical heritage.

During his tenure as organist, he forged an impressive vocation both as a solo recitalist and as a composer.

His duties as organist to the community of monks in their regular cycle of prayer and liturgy, and the undeniable beauty of the abbey church, have both over the years inspired the creation of his music.

Fr Wolff’s new double CD recording offers a comprehensive account of his achievements as an acclaimed solo organist.

The preview will kick off at 4.15p on Sunday May 15 with a short recital of Fr Sebastian’s works by another former abbey organist, Richard Lea.

A recording artist and organist of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool, Richard spent much time with Fr Sebastian in preparing the recording, and the great variety of styles and musical forces featured on the recording pays tribute to the composer’s kaleidoscopic output.

Philip Arkwright, the abbey’s current organist and master of music, said: “Dom Sebastian Wolff’s name is forever linked with the development of the wonderful musical and liturgical tradition here at Buckfast Abbey.

“This double disc set is a celebration of an impressive and full musical life, and we are delighted to be able to add it to our growing collection of recordings.”

Recognised as both a place of worship and as a centre of musical excellence, Buckfast Abbey with its unique Ruffatti Organ and dramatic lantern ceiling is the perfect venue to host this special organ recital.

Tickets cost £5 and are available at www.buckfast.org.uk or from the abbey bookshop.

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