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Pipeworks Organ Recitals

Selected Fridays
October 2018 - MAY 2019

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Friday 12th October 2018 

Patrice Keegan organ

MENDELSSOHN Organ Sonata No. 3
HOWELLS Psalm Prelude Set 1, No. 1 “De Profundis”
HOWELLS Master Tallis’ Testament
HOWELLS Paean

This programme prefaces the repertoire of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s 7.30pm concert with music by Herbert Howells, a friend of Vaughan Williams and a fellow student of Stanford.  Potter’s “De Profundis”  (Out of the deep - a quotation from Psalm 130) is complimented by Howells’ atmospheric Psalm Prelude of the same name, and by Mendelssohn’s Third Sonata, which employs the German chorale associated with the same text -Aus tiefer not.

Friday 23rd November 2018

David Adams organ

FRANCK Fantasia in A
LISZT Fantasia and Fugue on the Chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam

The thematic unity of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, being performed in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s 7.30pm concert on the same evening, is reflected in these two works, representing the French and Germanic organ traditions of the 19th century respectively.  Franck’s masterful use of cyclic themes in his Fantasie generates a piece of great range and variety from an apparently innocuous theme; Liszt’s mighty work takes a chorale sung in Meyerbeer’s opera Le Prophéte by the three Anabaptists, Jonas, Matthisen and Zacharie (a chorale composed by Meyerbeer), and creates from its material a Fantasia, central adagio in F sharp major (a key which, for Liszt, had mystic connotations) and a massive, virtuosic concluding fugue.

Friday 11th January 2019

Peter Barley organ

VIVALDI/BACH Organ Concerto in D minor BWV 596
MOZART Epistle Sonata in C (arr. Jean Guillou)
WIDOR Symphony No 5, Allegro (First movement)

The choice of organ arrangements of string music by Mozart for tonight’s organ recital reflects the major works by Haydn and Beethoven in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s 7.30pm concert this evening. Mozart originally wrote his extraordinary C minor String Fugue for two pianos, and the organ arrangement by French virtuoso Jean Guillou is itself a tour de force. Widor’s Fifth Symphony closes with the famous Toccata, but that Symphony’s opening movement is equally marvellous - a fine set of variations that show the influence of Schumann and another of tonight’s orchestral composers, Mendelssohn. Picking up on the German/Italian theme, J.S. Bach’s masterly arrangement of Vivaldi’s D minor Concerto completes the programme

Friday 22nd February 2019

David Leigh organ

KARG-ELERT Seven Pastels from the Lake of Constance’

Just as Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, being performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra at 7.30pm, takes extra-musical inspiration (a poem by Lord Byron) for its subject matter, so Karg-Elert uses various scenes from the Lake of Constance as his subject matter.  Karg-Elert is an enigmatic figure, absorbing many varying influences at the turn of the last century.  In later life he turned to contrapuntal rigour and the great Germanic repertoire of the past, but this set of pieces represents the height of impressionism as an influence, with highly evocative titles and many and specific demands of colour

Friday 22nd March 2019

David Grealy organ

RAVEL Le tombeau de Couperin (arr. Grealy)
DURUFLÉ Prelude et Fugue sur le Nom d'ALAIN

The individual movements of Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin, composed from 1914 to 1917 and orchestrated in 1919, are each dedicated to friends of the composer who perished in the First World War. Like his more famous Boléro being played by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in the 7.30pm concert, it takes its cue from older dance forms, in this case those of a French baroque suite. Played this evening as an organ solo transcription, it is possible the see the common influences between Ravel and his younger contemporary Maurice Duruflé. Duruflé’s Prèlude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, also dedicated to a fallen soldier – his friend and fellow composer, Jehan Alain, who fell in World War II – is one of the seminal works of twentieth-century organ repertoire.

Friday 10th May 2019

Fergal Caulfield organ

VAN NOORDT Three Versets on Psalm 24
JS BACH Partita on Sei Gegrüsset BWV 768
TOURNEMIRE Improvisation sur le ‘Te Deum’

Taking its cue from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, which feature in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s 7.30pm concert this evening, this recital presents three sets of variations from different geographical locations and historical periods. The mid-17th century Dutch composer Anthoni Van Noordt was organist of the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, and his organ music followed stylistically in the footsteps of Sweelinck. His setting of Psalm 24 offers three very contrasting variations on the original melody. Bach’s monumental partita ‘Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig’ shares its key (G minor) with Elgar’s masterpiece, and is itself a classic example of chorale variations, despite probably being a very early work. Charles Tourmenire’s piece based on the Te Deum is a genuine improvisation - originally recorded extempore in 1930 on the organ of Sainte-Clotilde (where he succeeded Franck and Pierné as titulare), it was only later meticulously transcribed and notated by Maurice Duruflé. Here the Gregorian chant melody always remains recognisable through a myriad of inventive and ingenious transformations.

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