14:35 St Giles’ Organ students followed by Katherine Pardee, Andrew Patterson, Mitchell
The day’s music will conclude with a concert by two students of St Giles’ Music Academy at 7:30pm. They will present a varied programme of organ music.
Here’s a sample played by one of our students, Zihan Wang.
Music by Frescobaldi, Mendelssohn, Bach
John Forster, ‘Orgelwerke’
‘Orgelwerke comprises a set of three preludes and fugues in a pastiche retro-Baroque style, with each being modelled on pieces by Heinrich Scheidemann, Dietrich Buxtehude, or J. S. Bach, and composed using new German organ tablature rather than modern staff notation. The project combines sampled pipe organs and recreations of the synthesiser patches devised by Wendy Carlos for Switched-On Bach in 1968, which are then distributed among 24 separate loudspeakers placed around the performance space. Orgelwerke is about exploring notions of (in)authenticity in relation to new organ works and electronic organ sound, and the result is something that’s intended to feel conspicuously faux-historical.
John is currently studying for a PhD in Composition at City, University of London. The title of his research is ‘What is a Pipe Organ Work?’, and he’s focussing on how the ways in which different people conceptualise the pipe organ can lead to different approaches to creating pipe organ works. John has had a lifelong interest in the pipe organ, and after starting lessons as a chorister, spent a couple of summers as a teenager working at Henry Willis & Sons Ltd. in Liverpool. While studying for a Music degree at the University of Oxford, John was organ scholar at Brasenose College and St. Giles’ Parish Church, subsequently taking a gap year during which he sang bass in Rochester Cathedral Choir. Following a digression studying for an MSc in Global Politics at Durham University, then working for an ESG research firm in London and musicking in his spare time, John realised he wasn’t that into offices after all and so decided to embark on a doctorate.’
Tickets £10.00 and £5.00. Children free of charge.
Trio Amici is an exciting and energetic group formed by three successful professional musicians from various branches of the musical world, whose paths have now converged in the Oxford area. Their individual expertise and experience, combined with their passion and enjoyment for performing chamber music, is establishing their prestigious reputation with local audiences. Performing an eclectic repertoire, spanning the Classicism of Beethoven and Schubert, the Romanticism of Brahms and Mendelssohn, through to the French Impressionism of Debussy and Ravel with a dash of tango!
The work was composed for a Neapolitan confraternity, the Confraternita dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo and is one of Pergolesi’s most celebrated sacred works, achieving great popularity after the composer’s death.
In the Six Impromptus (1890-93) we find reminiscences of Sibelius’s journey to collect traditional runes in Karelia. Kantele (traditional Finnish and Karelian plucked string instrument) influences and dance tunes from eastern Finland and Karelia can be observed in the pieces. In this connection it is well to remember that Sibelius could play the kantele and that his performances have actually been documented. The opening, Impromptu no. 1 in G minor (Moderato). is an unaffected and melodious opening piece. Its theme has been regarded as “the musical symbol of Finland, Sibelius’s native country”.
With Brahms’ Chorale Prelude we have an example of late compositional work. Written for organ in 1896, the 11 Chorale Preludes Op. 122 were published posthumously. They are based on verses of Lutheran chorales. Number 10, based on the “passion” chorale, expresses the depths of the emotions implied by the text: “My heart is ever yearning for blessed death’s release”. The Preludes are a revealing document of Brahms’ thoughts on his own life. One biographer, Niemann, points out that most of the Preludes are: “A retrospect and an epilogue, a salutation to youth and its ideals, and a farewell to this world which is, after all, so fair”. Sombre as many of the Preludes are, they yet have a warm, autumnal quality that is all Brahms’ own.
In May 1909, a few months before the death of his mother, Busoni had lost his father. In his memory the son created an original work, poised and noble in tone, out of three organ pieces by Bach: Busoni’s way of thanking his father for an early introduction to the music of a composer he had been championing for years. The Fantasia after J S Bach (by ‘Bach- Busoni’, as the composer is identified on the cover page) is the first of his works that can be called a Nachdichtung—a work resulting from such a free transcription or adaptation of a model that it becomes original and independent in its own right.
Janácek revealed a very private and sensitive side of his musical personality when he composed In the Mists, a collection of four pieces for solo piano. Written in the winter of 1912-1913, the work came four years after the composer’s much longer collection, On an Overgrown Path. In the Mists has a feeling of introspection about it, as it were an entry in the composer’s musical “journal”; it lives up to its name by maintaining an air of distance, as if the piano were at times lost in a bank of clouds.
The five pieces that constitute Rachmaninov’s Morceaux de fantaisie, are not intended to be played as a group, and they represent a step forward toward Rachmaninov’s mature style. The Elégie in E flat minor is an epic and tragic work, with sweeping melodies, an imposing climax, and a fine melancholic atmosphere.