It took the "King of Instruments" to make the headstrong Beethoven feel humble.
"I, too, played the organ frequently in my youth," the great composer wrote, "but my nerves could not withstand the power of the gigantic instrument.
"I should place an organist who is master of his instrument at the very head of all virtuosi."
One of those "virtuosi" will be in town tomorrow evening to present a recital of organ music at the Naval Academy Chapel.
Adrian Bawtree, a British organist based at St. Peter's Church in London, will perform at 8 p.m.
The recital is free and open to the public.
After graduating from London's Royal Academy of Music, Bawtree became the organ scholar at Worcester College, Oxford University. He has appeared as a recitalist in some of England's most prestigious venues -- St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St. George's Chapel, Windsor, among them.
Bawtree has also performed at London's Royal Albert Hall with the massed bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, and he has accompanied the Naval Academy's men's and women's glee clubs during recent tours of Britain.
It is fitting that Bawtree comes to Annapolis on his U.S. tour.
His father, David Bawtree, is a retired rear admiral in the British navy and an astute, enthusiastic musician who helped the singing midshipmen of Annapolis put together their concert tours of southern England.
When the U.S. singers needed first-class organ accompaniment, the admiral knew just where to send them.
"Adrian is a great player who did us proud when we performed with him," said John Barry Talley, the academy's music director. "We're very pleased to be presenting him to the community."
Tomorrow's program will include organ compositions by Ives, Widor, Bach, Purcell and Vierne, plus transcriptions of such orchestral favorites as Wagner's prelude to "Die Meistersinger," William Walton's "Crown Imperial March" and selections from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite."
Pub Date: 7/16/98