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Music at Bray (Organ Recital by Relf Clark)

In memory of Frank Relf Clark (1920-2007)

(Born at Pear Tree Cottage, Hibbert Road, Bray on 24 February 1920)


Overture to the second Chandos Anthem                          Handel (1685-1759)

LiebsterJesu, wir sind hier, BWV 633                                 J.S.Bach (1685-1750)

Fugue in E flat major (‘the St Anne’), BWV 552(ii)              J.S.Bach

Andante, K.616                                                                    Mozart(1756-1791)

Adagio,from Sonata in F minor, Op.65, No.1                       Mendelssohn(1809-1847)

ChoralSong                                                                           S.S.Wesley (1810-1876)

Prelude on Rhosymedre                                                       VaughanWilliams (1872-1958)

Toccata, from Symphonie V,Op.42, No.5                              Widor (1844-1937)


Relf Clark is a great-grandson of Arthur Clark (1857-1894), who in 1888 became the butler at Braywick Lodge, the home of the Hibbert family.   His first organ lessons were with Frank Hammersley and took place at St Michael’s in 1967-8.   After tuition with Dr Sidney Campbell at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, he won an exhibition to Oxford, where he studied with Robert Sherlaw Johnson and F.W. Sternfeld and assisted at the University Church; and at the age of twenty, while still an undergraduate, he became a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.   He completed his musical education at London University, where he read musicology, and at Reading University, where he was taught by David Sanger and gained a distinction in performance studies, and the degree of PhD for work on Robert Hope-Jones.


Dr Clark writes and lectures on music and has contributed to The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and musical periodicals of various kinds.   He is the author of the history of the organs and organists of St Michael’s on sale in the church.   From 1990 to 2005 he was a member of the council of the British Institute of Organ Studies, and for seven of those years he was the BIOS publications officer.   He is an honorary life member of the Elgar Society, having been one of its officers from 1995 to 2007; his publications include four volumes of Elgar-related essays; and he featured in the Durham University DVD about Elgar’s Sonata for Organ, Op.28.   He composes for the organ and has given recitals in many parts of the UK.


In 1982, after attending what is now the University of Law, Relf Clark qualified as a solicitor.   In 1993, after a decade as an in-house lawyer with Costain Group plc, he returned to private practice, and from 1998 until retiring in 2017 he practised with a City of London law firm.   His clients there included The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain, of which he is an honorary life member.