PipeChat Digest #2276 - Wednesday, August 1, 2001
 
POE visits NY and meets censorship! - 7/17
  by <ManderUSA@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: POE visits NY and meets censorship! - 7/17 From: <ManderUSA@aol.com> Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 01:56:15 EDT     --part1_12.103cec8f.2898f3ff_boundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   Dear Lists and Friends,   This day was a long one, but I hardly think anyone noticed much. Lessons, usually held in the afternoon, were shifted to the morning, and the dirty dozen picked up their students at 8:45 to head for their churches. Back to the university at about 11:30, soon to pick up box lunches at the dining hall, and then to board a comfortable, blessedly air conditioned bus, with a much appreciated little facility down at the end of the nave. Had we gone to New York in one of the school buses we "enjoyed" during the week for mercifully short little trips, we might have needed an orthopedic doctor in attendance upon arrival home. Not only did we appreciate the luxury bus, but also a very seasoned driver, seasoned in "the knowledge" of getting around New York City. He was fabulous, and we owe to him in part the fact that everything went like clockwork!   Our first stop was at St. John the Divine. Start with the biggest! The unbelievable Dorothy Papadakos has done a number of organ demonstrations for groups I have been involved with, but this was her vacation time which she was to be enjoying in North Carolina with her husband. William Randolph, the assistant, had an unavoidable conflict that required him to back out some days ahead of our trip. My friend Michael Murray to the rescue! He is not to be confused with the recording artist of the same name - he lives in Ohio. This Michael is from Sydney, Australia, has been for several years Director of Music at St. Peter's Church, Beverly, Massachusetts, playing the last surviving organ (1942) built under his own name by Ernest Skinner, long after the end of his relationship with Donald Harrison and the Aeolian-Skinner company. Michael has just been appointed to Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, where he will play a substantial instrument by Fritz Noack, heard in last summer's OHS Convention. Most important to my problem in organizing our visit to St. John's was the fact that Michael had studied improvisation with Dorothy, and had, in fact, played the traditional 20 minute post- Evensong improvisation on the Sunday the AAM Conference visited back in mid-June. Michael knows the organ, and is known and trusted by Dorothy, and when I suggested him as our demonstrator, she quickly agreed. Whew! Disaster averted. I would have felt totally terrible had we had to announce that we were not visiting the cathedral, and as it turned out, we had a great experience there. Michael gave a bit of history of the organ, and demonstrated various sounds, as our gang sat opposite the console, in the Choir. He played excellent improvisations to show some of the possibilities, and ended with Dorothy's irresistible transcription of the Copland "Fanfare for the Common Man," approved by Copland himself. For this last piece, we were invited to leave the Choir and walk out into the Nave somewhat. From the seats in the Choir, that incredible State Trumpet does lose some of its lustre, but it is missing absolutely nothing from anywhere else in the building!! What a sound. And that piece just dissolves me, as does lots of Copland anyway. A huge thank you to Michael Murray for saving this part of our day, and doing it so well. He travelled from Boston the day before in order to be with us, and drove back late on Tuesday night. The whole POE group owes him a great debt of gratitude.   Our next stop was St. Michael's Episcopal Church at 99th and Amsterdam Avenue. I had thought we might walk it, just 13 short city blocks, but there is so much to see along the way that we knew our rather tight schedule would be wrecked as everyone window shopped. So, our faithful coachman was there waiting for us, and got us to the side door of St. Michael's well on time. Here some strangeness ensued about which we're still shaking our heads. As we left the bus, we were greeted by someone announcing quite firmly that there were to be no pictures taken!! Huh? To all of of our group, this POE adventure was an event of great importance, long anticipated, and most were equipped with cameras and knew quite well how to use them. The Beckerath organ at St. Michael's is both visually and musically of great interest, and there was much disappointment about this strange rule. I know what you might be thinking. There are great frescoes or other great art that might be damaged by flash pictures. Uh uh! What it was was some sort of bizarre fear on the part of the church administration that pictures taken of the church and organ might end up in some evil place, used for evil purposes with "adult" content. We were told that this rule came about from experience. Ooooo-K! Nicholas White, a wonderful player, originally from England, is Music Director here, but had to be away. Not to worry. Barbara Bruns, whom I have heard before, is Organist of the church, and had agreed to play/demonstrate for us, and this she did wonderfully well, with a very helpful talk about the history of the Organ, and about the music she was to play. Our tight schedule still permitted a few people to go up and try the organ, while others cheered them on, and I am glad we had this chance to experience a rather important bit of our Organ history, nationwide and certainly for New York. Our coachman was ready, and so we crossed through Central Park to the rarified atmosphere of the Upper East Side, and St. Ignatius Loyola at 84th and Park Avenue.   I sort of have to reign myself in about St. Ignatius, having been involved in it so deeply from the very first visit to see Kent Tritle more than a decade ago to talk about a possible organ, right up to the final dedication recital (played by David Higgs) in April of 1993. Kent Tritle (rhymes with Title) is the musical dynamo who serves this church as Director of Music Ministries, and consistently makes amazing things happen both with his Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series and with many scheduled organ recitals. Anyway, there are thirty tons of tracker organ, four manuals, 68 stops, 91 ranks, up in the very high gallery of this remarkable 1898 building with stunning acoustics. For our group, it was the perfect "show organ," in that the entire action is fully viewable, and access to the back of the instrument is via spacious stairways. With any other group of young people, pre-adolescent to the late teen years, one would be very hesitant about turning them loose in an instrument like this. Not these folks. They were able to open any panels to view the action and the pipes, with only the request that they not go up into any division's walkboard. No one betrayed our trust. Pity those who were trapped in the instrument during some moments of full organ! It is pretty devastating up there. And so the students spent their time in going downstairs three flights to hear and see the instrument from below, going up into the action of the organ, and best of all, playing, and play they did. Only a few had been able to play at St. Michael's (no pictures, please), so there was a larger group needing a console fix, and I am happy to say they all got it, and what a pleasure it was to hear and see them in action!   Our Coach and Four awaited us at the kerb, with air in the tyres and petrol in the tank, and off we went to dinner - back on the Upper West Side, to V & T Pizza, a great place recommended by Stephen Hamilton of the New York City AGO Chapter. (V&T is right opposite St. John the Divine, on Amsterdam Avenue.) In the interest of time and convenience, we decided on a set menu of Lasagna, salad, and ice cream for dessert. I had phoned in our final number once we were all on the bus after noon, and promised to phone them when we were five minutes away, so they could get the food on the table. This being done, we walked in right to our places, with great looking food right in front of us, and dinner went off without a hitch. James Thomasshower, AGO Executive Director, and Stephen Hamilton, Dean of the NYC Chapter joined us for dinner along with a few other friends, a happy and congenial little party indeed, made happier by the fact that the New York City Chapter, one of our co-sponsors in this POE, picked up the bill for the entire dinner. Budgetting for something like a POE is always very tight, and you can be sure that this gesture on the part of NYC AGO was important to us and much appreciated.   Our coachman was ready at the door when we were, and we arrived at the main door of Riverside Church with ten minutes to spare. James Thomasshower had negotiated an excellent price for our admission with the Riverside people (can you say zero?), and this gesture is also much appreciated. Thank you James, thank you Riverside. These recitals are usually very well attended and this evening was no exception. The draw is, I presume a mix of the fact that good people play, the organ sounds wonderful (all the more since the acoustic renovations), and blessed air conditioning. It helps also that these summer Tuesday recitals have been going on for a long time, so people have the day and time programmed. Only the back of the console is visible from the nave, and in Virgil's day, there was a huge mirror suspended at an angle over his head. You saw him in reverse, of course, and it was fun to hear the music go up in pitch while the hands went down. Now, there is a very good and clear TV system with a very large screen. The artist of the day was John Stansell, appropriately from the Great State of Connecticut, and Director of Music at First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich. John found a most interesting shirt to wear for his recital - a rather stark black and white number, like black and white keys, horizontally placed. The effect of this shirt against the sea of keys appearing vertically on the screen was almost psychedelic. But, enough of couture! John is a wonderfully solid player, and I checked out his program with some anticipation, because we had talked some weeks before, and he thought he would try to do something for the POE students - he was really pleased that they were going to be there. Interesting program, but I saw nothing that was particularly aimed at the group, and no mention of their presence. That was until I came to the program notes on a separate sheet. "My program notes this evening will take the form of an open letter to these young people. Perhaps it will also be of interest to others in the audience." And the notes began: "Dear potential future organists, I was thrilled to learn that you would be present at my recital tonight. At first I thought of redesigning the program especially for you, but since I always try to make my programs as varied and entertaining as possible, I realized that it would be fine as it stood. I hope you will enjoy it!" Well now, that is what I call a gracious gesture. The program:   The Bach Prelude and Fugue in C, the 9/8, beautifully and solidly played, with a smooth build-up at the end to remind us that this is a big, Romantic instrument. Well done.   As one who has sat through performances of endless variations by lesser lights of the Baroque and later periods, wondering why we are doing this to ourselves, and having on one particular occasion, hearing something like 20 variations by Johann Bernhardt Bach, found myself in solidarity with an audience of people struggling to keep from laughing out loud, and only succeeding with the utmost difficulty, I approached with fear variations on <Von Gott will ich nicht lassen> by Georg Dietrich Leyding (1664-1710). But John's notes indicated that he had consulted a German organist who had devoted himself to an exhaustive study of such literature, and had asked him to give him a list of a few of these works that really were audience pleasers. This set of six verses was truly fascinating. The appeal is in the wonderful counterpoint, and an inventive manner of treating the choral melody. John found wonderful combinations, using reeds rather inventively, and played really crisply and cleanly. This really *was* an audience pleaser - not to worry.   On a commission from some admirers of John, Daniel Pinkham produced a really superb work specially for him, and what a treasure this is! Written in 1999, the work is called "Saints' Days," and consists of twelve wonderful vignettes, each about a particular saint, and providing a short phrase about some aspect of that saint's life. Three particularly caught my eye, and I quote without comment! No. 2. "St. Brigid of Ireland, who fed the poor with butter and turned her bath- water into beer." No. 10. "St. Canice, who rebuked the birds for their noise on Sundays." And No. 11. "St. Caecilia, who, while the organ was playing, prayed that the Lord keep her heart pure that she not be confused." John came to the microphone and gave us a bit of interesting detail about Dan's notations for each piece, as written on the score. This music, by the way, is available, published by E. C. Schirmer, their number 5408. Directions for turning bath water into beer cost extra!   We next heard a "Gospel Improvisation: I'll Fly Away," played originally by Henry Sexton (no details about him) at Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn, and written out from a recording by Raymond Henry (no info here either). This is not exactly a Tournemire/Durufle look a like, but it was a good foil to the preceding and following works, and a good choice for Riverside, which is a tremendously and happily ethnically diverse congregation. Per John's notes: "In our multi-cultural society pieces like this help us to reach beyond, and hopefully enlarge, the Organ audience." Here at Riverside, the parish and the series have already done all of that, so the choice was particularly apt and appreciated. I thought the performance could perhaps have used a touch more "swagger," but t'was great to hear.   The final piece on the program was a Sonata III in A Minor, Opus 23, by August Gottfried Ritter (1811-1885), a rather longer lived contemporary of Mendelssohn. He was organist at Erfurt, Merseburg, and finally, at Magdeburg Cathedral, making him a predecessor of our listmember Barry Jordan. He was also a musicologist, and produced a then well-known two volume history of music for the Organ, from the 14th to the 18th centuries. The Sonata is a Cyclical work, reminiscent of his contemporary, Cesar Franck's great symphony and also the Grande Piece Symphonique. There are no separate movements listed, but there clearly are sections, beginning with what felt to me like Rheinberger at his best. This was followed by a section of recitatives with bits of material from the beginning movement, in turn followed by a scherzo-like movement, and then the wind up to the big final movement, beginning with a choral-like section, leading into lots of notes, fugal - big stuff - hard work for the organist, ultimately with enchamades blazing away to a glorious ending to a splendid recital. Much well-deserved applause.   Good concert etiquette does not encourage playing the organ after a recital, but our gang, encouraged by John Stansell, headed straight for the console for a good look and some pictures!! Then it was on the bus and time for a somewhat quiet trip back to Danbury with a very tired group of people.   The four organs seen this day can be visited on the New York City Chapter's excellent website, done by Steve Lawson. The URL is:   < http://nycago.org/home.html >.   Tomorrow we meet a Wurlitzer with all the bells and whistles. In the evening, we visit two very interesting organs in Stamford.   Cheers to all,   Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com                   --part1_12.103cec8f.2898f3ff_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit   <HTML><FONT FACE=3Darial,helvetica><BODY BGCOLOR=3D"#ffffff"><FONT = SIZE=3D2>Dear Lists and Friends, <BR> <BR>This day was a long one, but I hardly think anyone noticed much. <BR>Lessons, usually held in the afternoon, were shifted to the morning, <BR>and the dirty dozen picked up their students at 8:45 to head for their <BR>churches. Back to the university at about 11:30, soon to pick up box <BR>lunches at the dining hall, and then to board a comfortable, blessedly <BR>air conditioned bus, with a much appreciated little facility down at <BR>the end of the nave. Had we gone to New York in one of the school = buses <BR>we "enjoyed" during the week for mercifully short little trips, we = might <BR>have needed an orthopedic doctor in attendance upon arrival home. Not <BR>only did we appreciate the luxury bus, but also a very seasoned = driver, <BR>seasoned in "the knowledge" of getting around New York City. He was <BR>fabulous, and we owe to him in part the fact that everything went like <BR>clockwork! <BR> <BR>Our first stop was at St. John the Divine. Start with the biggest! The <BR>unbelievable Dorothy Papadakos has done a number of organ = demonstrations <BR>for groups I have been involved with, but this was her vacation time <BR>which she was to be enjoying in North Carolina with her husband. = William <BR>Randolph, the assistant, had an unavoidable conflict that required him <BR>to back out some days ahead of our trip. My friend Michael Murray to = the <BR>rescue! He is not to be confused with the recording artist of the same <BR>name - he lives in Ohio. This Michael is from Sydney, Australia, has <BR>been for several years Director of Music at St. Peter's Church, = Beverly, <BR>Massachusetts, playing the last surviving organ (1942) built under his <BR>own name by Ernest Skinner, long after the end of his relationship = with <BR>Donald Harrison and the Aeolian-Skinner company. Michael has just been <BR>appointed to Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, = where <BR>he will play a substantial instrument by Fritz Noack, heard in last <BR>summer's OHS Convention. Most important to my problem in organizing = our <BR>visit to St. John's was the fact that Michael had studied = improvisation <BR>with Dorothy, and had, in fact, played the traditional 20 minute post- <BR>Evensong improvisation on the Sunday the AAM Conference visited back = in <BR>mid-June. Michael knows the organ, and is known and trusted by = Dorothy, <BR>and when I suggested him as our demonstrator, she quickly agreed. = Whew! <BR>Disaster averted. I would have felt totally terrible had we had to <BR>announce that we were not visiting the cathedral, and as it turned = out, <BR>we had a great experience there. Michael gave a bit of history of the <BR>organ, and demonstrated various sounds, as our gang sat opposite the <BR>console, in the Choir. He played excellent improvisations to show some <BR>of the possibilities, and ended with Dorothy's irresistible <BR>transcription of the Copland "Fanfare for the Common Man," approved by <BR>Copland himself. For this last piece, we were invited to leave the = Choir <BR>and walk out into the Nave somewhat. From the seats in the Choir, that <BR>incredible State Trumpet does lose some of its lustre, but it is = missing <BR>absolutely nothing from anywhere else in the building!! What a sound. <BR>And that piece just dissolves me, as does lots of Copland anyway. A = huge <BR>thank you to Michael Murray for saving this part of our day, and doing <BR>it so well. He travelled from Boston the day before in order to be = with <BR>us, and drove back late on Tuesday night. The whole POE group owes him <BR>a great debt of gratitude. <BR> <BR>Our next stop was St. Michael's Episcopal Church at 99th and Amsterdam <BR>Avenue. I had thought we might walk it, just 13 short city blocks, but <BR>there is so much to see along the way that we knew our rather tight <BR>schedule would be wrecked as everyone window shopped. So, our faithful <BR>coachman was there waiting for us, and got us to the side door of St. <BR>Michael's well on time. Here some strangeness ensued about which we're <BR>still shaking our heads. As we left the bus, we were greeted by = someone <BR>announcing quite firmly that there were to be no pictures taken!! Huh? <BR>To all of of our group, this POE adventure was an event of great <BR>importance, long anticipated, and most were equipped with cameras and <BR>knew quite well how to use them. The Beckerath organ at St. Michael's = is <BR>both visually and musically of great interest, and there was much <BR>disappointment about this strange rule. I know what you might be <BR>thinking. There are great frescoes or other great art that might be <BR>damaged by flash pictures. Uh uh! What it was was some sort of bizarre <BR>fear on the part of the church administration that pictures taken of = the <BR>church and organ might end up in some evil place, used for evil = purposes <BR>with "adult" content. We were told that this rule came about from <BR>experience. Ooooo-K! Nicholas White, a wonderful player, originally = from <BR>England, is Music Director here, but had to be away. Not to worry. <BR>Barbara Bruns, whom I have heard before, is Organist of the church, = and <BR>had agreed to play/demonstrate for us, and this she did wonderfully <BR>well, with a very helpful talk about the history of the Organ, and = about <BR>the music she was to play. Our tight schedule still permitted a few <BR>people to go up and try the organ, while others cheered them on, and I <BR>am glad we had this chance to experience a rather important bit of our <BR>Organ history, nationwide and certainly for New York. Our coachman was <BR>ready, and so we crossed through Central Park to the rarified = atmosphere <BR>of the Upper East Side, and St. Ignatius Loyola at 84th and Park = Avenue. <BR> <BR>I sort of have to reign myself in about St. Ignatius, having been <BR>involved in it so deeply from the very first visit to see Kent Tritle <BR>more than a decade ago to talk about a possible organ, right up to the <BR>final dedication recital (played by David Higgs) in April of 1993. = Kent <BR>Tritle (rhymes with Title) is the musical dynamo who serves this = church <BR>as Director of Music Ministries, and consistently makes amazing things <BR>happen both with his Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series and with = many <BR>scheduled organ recitals. Anyway, there are thirty tons of tracker <BR>organ, four manuals, 68 stops, 91 ranks, up in the very high gallery = of <BR>this remarkable 1898 building with stunning acoustics. For our group, = it <BR>was the perfect "show organ," in that the entire action is fully <BR>viewable, and access to the back of the instrument is via spacious <BR>stairways. With any other group of young people, pre-adolescent to the <BR>late teen years, one would be very hesitant about turning them loose = in <BR>an instrument like this. Not these folks. They were able to open any <BR>panels to view the action and the pipes, with only the request that = they <BR>not go up into any division's walkboard. No one betrayed our trust. <BR>Pity those who were trapped in the instrument during some moments of <BR>full organ! It is pretty devastating up there. And so the students = spent <BR>their time in going downstairs three flights to hear and see the <BR>instrument from below, going up into the action of the organ, and best <BR>of all, playing, and play they did. Only a few had been able to play = at <BR>St. Michael's (no pictures, please), so there was a larger group = needing <BR>a console fix, and I am happy to say they all got it, and what a <BR>pleasure it was to hear and see them in action! <BR> <BR>Our Coach and Four awaited us at the kerb, with air in the tyres and <BR>petrol in the tank, and off we went to dinner - back on the Upper West <BR>Side, to V &amp; T Pizza, a great place recommended by Stephen = Hamilton of <BR>the New York City AGO Chapter. (V&amp;T is right opposite St. John the <BR>Divine, on Amsterdam Avenue.) &nbsp;In the interest of time and = convenience, <BR>we decided on a set menu of Lasagna, salad, and ice cream for dessert. <BR>I had phoned in our final number once we were all on the bus after <BR>noon, and promised to phone them when we were five minutes away, so <BR>they could get the food on the table. This being done, we walked in <BR>right to our places, with great looking food right in front of us, and <BR>dinner went off without a hitch. James Thomasshower, AGO Executive <BR>Director, and Stephen Hamilton, Dean of the NYC Chapter joined us for <BR>dinner along with a few other friends, a happy and congenial little <BR>party indeed, made happier by the fact that the New York City Chapter, <BR>one of our co-sponsors in this POE, picked up the bill for the entire <BR>dinner. Budgetting for something like a POE is always very tight, and <BR>you can be sure that this gesture on the part of NYC AGO was important <BR>to us and much appreciated. <BR> <BR>Our coachman was ready at the door when we were, and we arrived at the <BR>main door of Riverside Church with ten minutes to spare. James <BR>Thomasshower had negotiated an excellent price for our admission with <BR>the Riverside people (can you say zero?), and this gesture is also = much <BR>appreciated. Thank you James, thank you Riverside. These recitals are <BR>usually very well attended and this evening was no exception. The draw <BR>is, I presume a mix of the fact that good people play, the organ = sounds <BR>wonderful (all the more since the acoustic renovations), and blessed = air <BR>conditioning. It helps also that these summer Tuesday recitals have = been <BR>going on for a long time, so people have the day and time programmed. <BR>Only the back of the console is visible from the nave, and in Virgil's <BR>day, there was a huge mirror suspended at an angle over his head. You <BR>saw him in reverse, of course, and it was fun to hear the music go up = in <BR>pitch while the hands went down. Now, there is a very good and clear = TV <BR>system with a very large screen. The artist of the day was John = Stansell, <BR>appropriately from the Great State of Connecticut, and Director of = Music <BR>at First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich. John found a most <BR>interesting shirt to wear for his recital - a rather stark black and <BR>white number, like black and white keys, horizontally placed. The = effect <BR>of this shirt against the sea of keys appearing vertically on the = screen <BR>was almost psychedelic. But, enough of couture! John is a wonderfully <BR>solid player, and I checked out his program with some anticipation, <BR>because we had talked some weeks before, and he thought he would try = to <BR>do something for the POE students - he was really pleased that they = were <BR>going to be there. Interesting program, but I saw nothing that was <BR>particularly aimed at the group, and no mention of their presence. = That <BR>was until I came to the program notes on a separate sheet. "My program <BR>notes this evening will take the form of an open letter to these young <BR>people. Perhaps it will also be of interest to others in the = audience." <BR>And the notes began: "Dear potential future organists, I was thrilled = to <BR>learn that you would be present at my recital tonight. At first I <BR>thought of redesigning the program especially for you, but since I <BR>always try to make my programs as varied and entertaining as possible, <BR>I realized that it would be fine as it stood. I hope you will enjoy = it!" <BR>Well now, that is what I call a gracious gesture. The program: <BR> <BR>The Bach Prelude and Fugue in C, the 9/8, beautifully and solidly <BR>played, with a smooth build-up at the end to remind us that this is <BR>a big, Romantic instrument. Well done. <BR> <BR>As one who has sat through performances of endless variations by = lesser <BR>lights of the Baroque and later periods, wondering why we are doing = this <BR>to ourselves, and having on one particular occasion, hearing something <BR>like 20 variations by Johann Bernhardt Bach, found myself in = solidarity <BR>with an audience of people struggling to keep from laughing out loud, = and <BR>only succeeding with the utmost difficulty, I approached with fear <BR>variations on &lt;Von Gott will ich nicht lassen&gt; by Georg Dietrich = Leyding <BR>(1664-1710). But John's notes indicated that he had consulted a German <BR>organist who had devoted himself to an exhaustive study of such <BR>literature, and had asked him to give him a list of a few of these = works <BR>that really were audience pleasers. This set of six verses was truly <BR>fascinating. The appeal is in the wonderful counterpoint, and an <BR>inventive manner of treating the choral melody. John found wonderful <BR>combinations, using reeds rather inventively, and played really = crisply <BR>and cleanly. This really *was* an audience pleaser - not to worry. <BR> <BR>On a commission from some admirers of John, Daniel Pinkham produced a <BR>really superb work specially for him, and what a treasure this is! <BR>Written in 1999, the work is called "Saints' Days," and consists of <BR>twelve wonderful vignettes, each about a particular saint, and = providing <BR>a short phrase about some aspect of that saint's life. Three <BR>particularly caught my eye, and I quote without comment! No. 2. "St. <BR>Brigid of Ireland, who fed the poor with butter and turned her bath- <BR>water into beer." No. 10. "St. Canice, who rebuked the birds for their <BR>noise on Sundays." And No. 11. "St. Caecilia, who, while the organ was <BR>playing, prayed that the Lord keep her heart pure that she not be <BR>confused." John came to the microphone and gave us a bit of = interesting <BR>detail about Dan's notations for each piece, as written on the score. <BR>This music, by the way, is available, published by E. C. Schirmer, = their <BR>number 5408. Directions for turning bath water into beer cost extra! <BR> <BR>We next heard a "Gospel Improvisation: I'll Fly Away," played = originally <BR>by Henry Sexton (no details about him) at Concord Baptist Church in <BR>Brooklyn, and written out from a recording by Raymond Henry (no info <BR>here either). This is not exactly a Tournemire/Durufle look a like, = but <BR>it was a good foil to the preceding and following works, and a good <BR>choice for Riverside, which is a tremendously and happily ethnically <BR>diverse congregation. Per John's notes: "In our multi-cultural society <BR>pieces like this help us to reach beyond, and hopefully enlarge, the <BR>Organ audience." Here at Riverside, the parish and the series have <BR>already done all of that, so the choice was particularly apt and <BR>appreciated. I thought the performance could perhaps have used a touch <BR>more "swagger," but t'was great to hear. <BR> <BR>The final piece on the program was a Sonata III in A Minor, Opus 23, = by <BR>August Gottfried Ritter (1811-1885), a rather longer lived = contemporary <BR>of Mendelssohn. He was organist at Erfurt, Merseburg, and finally, at <BR>Magdeburg Cathedral, making him a predecessor of our listmember Barry <BR>Jordan. He was also a musicologist, and produced a then well-known two <BR>volume history of music for the Organ, from the 14th to the 18th <BR>centuries. The Sonata is a Cyclical work, reminiscent of his <BR>contemporary, Cesar Franck's great symphony and also the Grande Piece <BR>Symphonique. There are no separate movements listed, but there clearly <BR>are sections, beginning with what felt to me like Rheinberger at his <BR>best. This was followed by a section of recitatives with bits of <BR>material from the beginning movement, in turn followed by a = scherzo-like <BR>movement, and then the wind up to the big final movement, beginning = with <BR>a choral-like section, leading into lots of notes, fugal - big stuff - <BR>hard work for the organist, ultimately with enchamades blazing away to <BR>a glorious ending to a splendid recital. Much well-deserved applause. <BR> <BR>Good concert etiquette does not encourage playing the organ after a <BR>recital, but our gang, encouraged by John Stansell, headed straight <BR>for the console for a good look and some pictures!! Then it was on the <BR>bus and time for a somewhat quiet trip back to Danbury with a very = tired <BR>group of people. <BR> <BR>The four organs seen this day can be visited on the New York City <BR>Chapter's excellent website, done by Steve Lawson. The URL is: <BR> <BR>&lt; http://nycago.org/home.html &gt;. <BR> <BR>Tomorrow we meet a Wurlitzer with all the bells and whistles. In the <BR>evening, we visit two very interesting organs in Stamford. <BR> <BR>Cheers to all, <BR> <BR>Malcolm Wechsler <BR>www.mander-organs.com <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR></FONT></HTML>   --part1_12.103cec8f.2898f3ff_boundary--