This is my son’s final choice for the happiness playlist. The most famous movement from Léon Boëllmann’s Suite Gothique is the swirling, sinister Toccata that ends it, but this movement is, as he puts it, ‘simply jolly’. Apparently though this one a lot harder to play than it sounds, and certainly harder than the Toccata because the pedal line dances along in constant motion, which you can see quite clearly at the end of this video, but he hopes to learn it one day. He chose this particular recording because the organ is one built by the great French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, so it’s exactly the sort of instrument Boëllmann had in mind when he wrote the suite.
Somehow, this was actually my first live Messiah since lockdown. Dunelm Consort and Players made it worth the wait in an evening pulsating with energy and joy.