Saturday, October 29, 2016

Washington DC church offers Halloween organ concert


Friday evening. Oct. 28, 2016, the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC held its 4th Annual Halloween Organ Spectacular, on the new Austin organ.

S’Oniece Dillard narrated as a parade or organists and a pianist performed.

Kevin Biggins started with the Introduction to the Suite Gothique by Leon Boellman.



Carol Feather Martin, from Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington VA, followed with the Roulade (Op/ 9 #3) by Seth Bingham, a rather playful work.

Martin followed by playing “Kitten on the Keys” on the Steinway piano, by Zez Confrey.  I think I heard a high school student play this a few years ago at Trinity.

Ted Gustin followed with the Intrada by Grayston Ives, and a Toccata in D Minor buy Gordon Balch Nevin.

The heart of the concert was provided by ‘Jason” aka Irvin Peterson. He played his own Improvisation, which was hyperchromatic, venturing into  functional atonality with Scriabin-like mystique chords. The same “Black Mass” mood continued with “In a Medieval Monastery” by Walker Baylor, and with a reharmonization of the theme from “Jaws” by John Williams. (The Gay 90s in Minneapolis used to play the attack scene from this movie in the upstairs lounge above the disco.)   He concluded the section with the Funeral March from the Chopin Piano Sonata #2.  (He could have tried Beethoven’s Sonata 12 funeral march).

Lon Schreiber played a Trumpet Tune by Nicholas Bowden, and then the first movement (Prelude, “Allegro Maestoso e con fuoco”) from the Organ Sonata #3 in C Minor by Alexndre Guilmant.

Here’s a performance from Spain of the complete work . The second movement is an Adagio in A-flat, very reverent. The Finale is a broad fugue on a scalar theme and it does not go back to major.

The concert concluded with Rubrics V by San Loclair, performed by Kevin Biggins.

The organist who was to perform the notorious (in all horror movies as well as in Eugene Ormandy’s transcription) Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565, of J. S. Bach, did not appear.  But here’s a good recording.  Note the conclusion, which stays in minor, practically gives us a tutorial on all the rules of western music harmony.

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