Thomas Wikman Reviews
Thomas Wikman at the Chicago Theological Seminary (cont)
May 18, 2005
By M.L. Rantala, Classical Music Critic, Hyde Park Herald
Pachelbel's "Toccata and Fugue in C Major" opened with intriguing low rumbles, sustained at length. Wikman kept the music transparent, infusing it with lots of air.
With the music of Dom Paul Benoit, we moved forward some three centuries. "Bonum est confiteri Domino" with its gentle dissonance was haunting and Wikman's performance was particularly elegant.
The recital closed with César Franck's "Choral No. 3 in A minor." The powerful toccata that opens the work was a prelude to a storm outside. But Wikman was the greater creator of fire, drama and tension. He capped the performance off by pointing out that one analyst of Franck's choral deemed it a triumph of life over death. Wikman saw it that afternoon as a triumph of organ over a rainstorm, and he was right.
The recital was followed by a tour of the Karl Wilhelm organ. Wikman plays it, tunes it, maintains it and advocates for it with zest and affection. Bruce Clinton of the Clinton Companies, sponsor of these free recitals, brought a small group to the recital and tour. Wikman praises Clinton's sponsorship, saying "it's a tremendous gift to the community because these kind of recitals are very rare." He added, "It makes a great repertoire available to the community on a great instrument."