Mirzoyev at Dunblane

    In later August, 1996, Mirzoyev accompanied Alexander Fiseisky when he gave a special recital to the children, families, and townsfolk of Dunblane in memory of the children and teacher murdered in the primary school by a local resident, at which he gave the first performance of  Lullaby written by Mirzoyev as a gift to the community in memory of the children.
    The recital was designed to help the children and community in their gradual recovery towards a more normal life.  From the start it was planned to be a very happy occasion for the children, and the plans probably raised a few quizzical eyebrows, yet it was realised the programme would be likely to bring peals of laughter and joy, as it did.
    The programme was conceived as a kind of Organ Mass, surrounding it with Bach's St Anne Prelude and Fugue, with the fun and games inside.
    Some two months beforehand the children and parents had been told to bring some very unexpected things to the cathedral in order

to take part in this very unusual recital.
    First was Birds and Springs from Messiaen's Messe de la Pentecôte, to which the children blew their bird warbler bath toys and whistles and through straws in bottles of squash that they had specially brought.  Gradually shyness was overcome, and everyone entered into the spirit of the piece.
    Next the children set off chiming clocks and similar to accompany some of Haydn's Clock Music for Organ.  By this time all had become well understood, and the little children formed a ring, with the lady Assistant Minister, to dance to Bach's Jig Fugue.  It is thought unlikely that such a thing has ever happened in a Scottish cathedral before, but the children were very, very happy.  To help the children quieten down they then marched up and down, beating toy drums and playing their toy pipes to some Purcell Trumpet Tunes.

    When all were quietly seated again, Lullaby, a lament specially written by Arif Mirzoyev as a tribute to the memory of the murdered children and teacher, was played.  Parents drew children closer in their arms, and some tears were seen to roll onto cheeks.  This same piece was played as the final entry of clergy in the October Memorial Service, attended by HRH Prince of Wales.  The recital concluded with the suitably grand and lively St Anne Fugue.
The children and parents all sat in the choir, gaining the full effect of the fine new Flentrop organ, and much joy and laughter was brought in the midst of great music.

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