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Principally Pachelbel an organ recital

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THUNDER BAY, ON  ------  September 3, 2011  ----  It is hard to imagine that AugustBert Rowson is passed and now Liam Curran.summer is living on borrowed time! With the change of season and shorter days the recital season begins to pick up speed. “Principally Pachelbel” is an organ recital by two local organists, Bert Rowson and Liam Curran. It will be a recital of musical discovery, bringing forth rarely heard works from this early baroque master. Today he is mostly known for his Canon in D minor, something that prompted a certain resident conductor to comment that Pachelbel was “A one hit wonder”

While it is true that Pachelbel (1653- 1706) did not write much for the orchestra it is understandable since the modern orchestra did not exist in his time. We do have an excellent pipe organ in Thunder Bay that can faithfully convey Pachebel’s music. Indeed the organ at St. Paul’s United church has many of the sounds and colours found on the Chappel organ that Pachelbel played while in Nuremburg. There will be four selections for organ solo by Pachelbel on the programme.

The programme will offer a bit of a treat in that two of Pachelbel’s dance suites, Partia IV and Partia V will be played. This is music for two distuned violins (tuned in 4ths), cello and organ. The practice of using a different tuning was common amongst folk musicians during Pachelbel’s time.  These compositions are for secular consumption, music for dancing. For this recital Thomas Cosbey and Michelle Zapf-Bélanger will use their violins in regular tune. Rosemary Salonen will play cello. For organ aficionados this will be a chance to hear the pipe organ in a continuo role.
In Pachelbel’s time a small one manual instrument was often present in homes of distinction. The small organs offered some advantages over other keyboard instruments of the time, namely reliability, better tuning, and a level of volume suitable for larger salons. This recital will provide the listener a chance to hear the pipe organ in continuo mode.

While the organ recital will focus on Pachelbel, he will not be the only composer on the recital. The others include Mendelssohn, Buxtehude and Bach. They all tie into J.S. Bach. Mendelssohn was largely responsible for bringing back Bach’s music from oblivion. Apart from resurrecting the mighty Mass in B-, he also toured giving organ recitals featuring the music of Bach. Buxtehude and Pachelbel are important to the study of Bach’s music because their music taught the young Bach a great deal about composition

Principally Pachelbel “
Date: Saturday September 17, 2011.
Time: Recital begins at 7:30 and lasts about an hour.
Place: St, Paul’s United Church 349 Waverley Street, Thunder Bay.
Admission: By donation at the door (suggested $10 for adults and $5 for LU music students)
Proceeds:  To a good cause.

For Lake Superior News
Bert Rowson

Arts Editor

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