The Paul Manz Organ Series
Wikman back with Pachelbel, Tournemire
Having featured guest artists David Schrader and Stephen Schnurr in January and February, the Paul Manz Organ Series will present its Artistic Director, Thomas Wikman, in the March concert next Tuesday, the 5th.
Wikman will open the midday concert with Johann Pachelbel's (1653-1706) joyous Toccata and Fugue in C Major. The piece is a flurry of notes, brilliant scales and arpeggios. The fugue is a "hammer fugue", a very popular type during the 17th century which begins with repetition of a single pitch.
An Wasserflüssen Babylon inspired many composers to their most eloquent efforts. Pachelbel's was no exception. Both verses of the piece are based on what we now call the "Pachelbel style" chorale prelude. A long fugue unfolds before the chorale is finally stated. In the first verse, it is in the treble over radiant, moderately moving polyphony. The second verse starts in a similar manner but with fuller voicing. When the chorale melody finally enters, the keyboard figuration breaks into brilliant virtuosity.
Il e bel e bon, the canzona by Girolamo Cavazzoni (1525-1577), is based on the famous French chanson of the same title by Pierre Passereau. Cavazzoni lays out an elaborate treatment which then is repeated, adding more and more ornaments and fast passages.
The third composer to be featured, Johann Jakob Froberger (1616 - 1667) was truly an international composer. He was influenced not only by the Germans, but by the Italians and the French as well. The Toccata in D minor is in three movements: the first a sort of sprawling, very free rhythmic prelude; the second, a brilliant German fugue; and the third, a triple-rhythm French-type movement. The piece concludes in the same free style in which it began.
Charles Tournemire (1870 - 1939) is represented by three movements of his suite in honor of the Holy Trinity. The Introit is an atmospheric piece of music which quotes the chant directly. The Offertory shows off the rich foundation stops of the organ in full harmony. The Triptyque begins as a typically fiery French toccata, building to a tremendous climax in the middle of the piece. The music then gradually winds down to a gorgeous section with the string stops accompanying an orchestral-style flute stop.
"The piece ends using the softest stop on the organ, fading away almost like a wisp of incense," said Wikman.
For more information and to RSVP, please see the Facebook event.