The Paul Manz Organ Series
Final concert of the season: May 1, 2012
Artistic Director Thomas Wikman will close out another successful season of the Paul Manz Organ Series with a final midday recital. The springtime concert will feature seasonal works from three of the most distinguished composers of organ music.
Wikman based this recital's program on two of the month's holidays: May Day and the Feast of the Pentecost. Two pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) will be played in celebration of the Pentecost, which comes very late this year at the end of May. Both played on the same tune, they are the first two of what are known as the 18 Great Leipzig Chorales.
"The longer of the two pieces to me depicts the gently flowing breath of the Holy Spirit, while the second piece seems to describe the tongues of fire," said Wikman.
Wikman will also perform pieces by Charles Tournemire (1870-1939) and Charles Marie Widor (1844-1937) in honor of May Day, historically celebrated as a festival of the Virgin Mary. Widor's Salva Regina was written very late in the composer's career. Based on the plainsong hymn of the same title, it begins mysteriously, builds to a mighty climax, then slowly fades away.
Finally, two pieces by Tournemire will serve as finale to the concert and the season alike. Wikman will perform the soft, sweet and meditative Introit, which he describes as "like incense floating up into the air." By contrast, he will follow with Paraphrase-Carillon--a fiery toccata with lively rhythms and one of Tournemire's masterpieces.