After four successful tours of Germany Robert will be returning to the Berlin/Brandenburg area and Saxony next week to perform another series of solo recitals organised by Stefan Schwarz. Venues include two cathedrals (Fürstenwalde and Meißen) as well as parish churches in Templin, Frankfurt (Oder), Pirna and Dresden. Please Robert’s concert diary for further details and full programmes.
For his organ duo recital in Templin Robert will be joined by fellow organist Bertie Baigent, who has recently been appointed assistant conductor of the Colorado Symphony. Bertie has also composed a new solo piece for Robert: A quiet pavan, with canon. Robert will be playing this piece in all five evening recitals on this tour.
In addition to this world premiere, Robert’s programmes will feature music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Charles Villiers Stanford, Edmund Rubbra, Herbert Howells, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Pärt, Donnacha Dennehy, Zsolt Gárdonyi as well as Patrick and Richard Gowers.
Friday 27th July 2018, 7:30pm, Maria-Magdalenen-Kirche, Templin
Organ Duo Recital with Bertie Baigent (London)
Sunday 29th July 2018, 5pm, Fürstenwalde Cathedral
Organ Recital (12. Internationale Fürstenwalder Sommermusiken)
Tuesday 31st July 2018, 8pm, St.-Gertraud-Kirche, Frankfurt (Oder)
Organ Recital (30. Internationaler Orgelzyklus)
Thursday 2nd August 2018, 7:30pm, St.-Marien-Kirche, Pirna
Organ Recital (Pirnaer Abendmusiken)
Saturday 4th August 2018, 12 noon, Meißen Cathedral
Lunchtime Organ Recital
Saturday 4th August 2018, 7:30pm, Christuskirche, Dresden (Germany)
Live recordings from Robert's fourth recital tour to Germany are now available on YouTube:
St.-Jacobi-Kirche, Sangerhausen, Saxony-Anhalt
Organ: Zacharias Hildebrandt (1728)
St.-Georgen-Kirche, Glauchau, Saxony
Organ: Gottfried Silbermann (1730)
This year Robert's annual tour to Germany will see him play two well-known central German Baroque organs: the 1728 Hildebrandt organ of the Jacobikirche in Sangerhausen (Saxony Anhalt) and the 1730 Silbermann organ of the Georgenkirche in Glauchau (Saxony):
Friday 10th November 2017, 7pm, St.-Jacobi-Kirche, Sangerhausen
Recital on the 1728 Hildebrandt Organ
Sunday 12th November 2017, 5pm, St.-Georgen-Kirche, Glauchau
Recital on the 1730 Silbermann Organ
Robert will be playing works by Johann Sebastian Bach, a selection of early English organ music by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Maurice Greene as well as some early Romantic and modern works by Felix Mendelssohn, Samuel Wesley, Bertie Baigent and Guy Bovet.
Please see Robert's concert diary for further details.
On Saturday Robert will be contributing two pieces to a special recital in celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Friedrich Goll organ at the Linsebühlkirche in St. Gallen (Switzerland). The concert will also feature organists Imelda Natter, Claude Diallo and Franz Pfab.
Robert will be playing Max Reger's Variations and Fugue on 'Heil dir im Siegerkranz'/'God Save the King' as well as Hamburger Totentanz (from Trois Préludes Hambourgeois) by Swiss composer Guy Bovet.
See Robert's concert diary for full details of the event. The Facebook event page for the concert can be found here.
A selection of live recordings from Robert's summer tour has now been uploaded to YouTube:
The Döbelner Allgemeine Zeitung recently published Hagen Kunze's review of Robert's concert at the St.-Nicolai-Kirche in Döbeln, the first recital of his 2016 summer tour. Click here to read the review.
A review of Robert's organ recital at the St.-Georgen-Kirche in Schwarzenberg (Germany) and a selection of photos can be found on the church website.
This summer Robert will be returning to Germany for another extensive solo recital tour organised by Stefan Schwarz. Between the 3rd and the 15th of August he will be playing 10 recitals in Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Venues include the famous Schlosskirche Wittenberg and Meißen Cathedral as well as churches in Döbeln, Dresden, Erfurt, Dessau, Weimar and Schwarzenberg. For a special one-off organ duo recital in Templin Robert will be joined by guest artist Joseph Bradley (Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin). Please see Robert's concert diary for detailed listings.
All evening recitals will feature proud rock/bright sky, a new work by award-winning composer Bertie Baigent that was specifically commissioned for this tour, and Max Reger's Variations and Fugue on 'God Save the King' or 'Heil dir im Siegerkranz', based on the tune of the English and the German national anthem (until 1918). Other tour repertoire includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Martin, Herbert Howells, Olivier Messiaen, Simon Preston, Naji Hakim and Noel Rawsthorne.
Robert's debut CD The Franz Liszt Memorial Organ in Weimar (see the CD page for details) has recently been reviewed in The Organ and the Organ Club Journal:
"[T]he organ produces tones that are clean and exact, which is ideally exploited in those works where a clear texture is required, as in Liszt's ethereal reworking of Arcadelt's Ave Maria, or the crystalline lines of Pärt's [...] Annum per annum. [...] The rapid flourishes of Patrick Gowers's Occasional Trumpet Voluntary are fluid, and the premiere of the twenty-year-old Bertie Baigent's Bright spark is suitably luminous. [...] [Robert Smith's] playing is accomplished and dependable."
**** (four-star rating)
Curtis Rogers, The Organ Magazine No. 375 (February-April 2016), p. 53
"Robert shows what this organ can do in a 62-minute programme featuring 12 works. He starts with Bach BWV 546, then Bright spark, a world première recording of Bertie Baigent [born 1995] of a work commissioned for the concert. [...] A very enjoyable recording, and especially pleasing to have a disc from a young player. - Well done, Robert. I would suggest a visit to the company website http://www.jubal.de - allow plenty of time."
Organ Club Journal 2016/1, p. 66