Playing Dupré

Last Updated on 2024-06-07 | Originally Posted on 2020-07-27

Introduction

Playing Dupré is quite difficult. He had the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth from birth, at least in a musical sense. His father Albert was an organist in Rouen and good friends with iconic organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The latter built a house organ for the Dupré family when Marcel was 14.

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Auf Wiedersehen Bach WTC Book One

Last Updated on 2024-06-07 | Originally Posted on 2019-11-24

Introduction

I’m sure that the majority of the congregation where I work in Bella Vista, Arkansas, are not even aware of this occasion. On February 4, 2018, I played the First Prelude and Fugue in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One, by J.S. Bach at First Methodist. The prelude has been quoted by other composers through the centuries, including Charles Gounod in his setting of the Ave Maria. Today I complete that journey with the Twenty-Fourth Prelude and Fugue in B minor. It’s my way to say Auf Wiedersehen Bach WTC Book One!

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Christmas 2018 Organ Recital

Last Updated on 2024-06-07 | Originally Posted on 2018-11-25

Introduction

I was really nervous but excited about my upcoming organ recital, when I was in full swing of practice at the beginning of December 2018. I had 29 guests for my last short organ recital. I was really pleased to have a mix of people attend from all three morning services, as well as guests who heard about the program via a listing in the local newspaper.

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Bach Reaches Audience

Last Updated on 2024-06-07 | Originally Posted on 2018-08-27

It took me a long time to program Bach on a sufficient basis during Sunday worship. At the first job where I was organist and choir director, I avoided playing him altogether. I feared people would not connect. At the next job, I played some Bach, but not a lot. At my current position, where I’ve been since 2012, I’ve fully embraced him. I challenged myself to play the entire Orgelbüchlein, as Bach intended, from Advent to the end of the Christian year. It was extremely meaningful to me, though rarely did anyone make a comment. Bach reaches audience? Not so much!

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Bitten by the Bach Bug

Last Updated on 2024-06-07 | Originally Posted on 2018-02-02

This winter, I have not suffered any type of cold or flu that is going around. However, I have been bitten by another bug, that of the long-dead composer, J.S. Bach. I was reading an article on the New York Times website about András Schiff, the Hungarian/British pianist whom I first saw perform at Tanglewood when I was a teenager. The article mentioned how Schiff had recently played the entire Bach Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One, a set of 24 preludes and fugues written in every major and minor key.

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