Toccare Incandescent

Hailed by Diapason Magazine, USA for his flawlessly performed debut recital in Pittsburgh and impeccable technique, Joseph Nolan is gaining recognition as an organist of considerable note. Joseph was appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace in 2004, where he plays for the regular services and assists in training the Royal Choristers. 

He has broadcast with the choir on Radio 3 and Classic FM and was organist for a new disc of Handel anthems, released on the Naxos label. Joseph also plays regularly at the Wren church, St Bride’s Fleet St, which features a professional choir of international repute.

Toccare Incandescent (2003/04) was commissioned by the Royal Festival Hall, London, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its unique Harrison & Harrison organ. The uniqueness of this instrument lies in the installation of its pipes, which are horizontal ranks across the large orchestra stage, rather than a vertical stack above the consul, as one might expect in a church or town hall. 

Consequently an unusual stereo effect was available and exploited. This work, however, was also designed to be played on more standard configurations and it is this version that is presented here. Toccare is the Italian word meaning to touch, hit, or tap, and is the root of the popular 16th century term toccata, which has come to mean a virtuoso composition for keyboard or plucked instrument characterised by brilliant passage work. 

Toccare Incandescent expands some of the traditional ideas for organ writing into a 21st century showpiece. It is dedicated to David Titterington who performed the premiere in February, 2004, and it is published by United Music Publishers, UK.

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