Author Topic: Organ Concert  (Read 826 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline brorat

  • PRESIDENT'S CLUB
  • Chrome-Meister
  • *
  • Posts: 1,999
  • Member
Organ Concert
« on: February 04, 2023, 09:02:32 AM »
I know we all love the harmonica, but I have to tell you about a concert I attended last night featuring another wonderful instrument.

As I've said before, my wife Janet is retired from a career of church music as Director of Music and Organist at several churches in our central SC area.  Even though she's retired, she still a wonderful organists and she plays as a substitute often.  She's also an active member in the local chapter of The American Guild of Organists.  Last night we went to an organ concert.  It was held at the chapel of the Lutheran Seminary here in Columbia, SC.  It's a relatively small chapel, and the audience was only about 50 people.  Very intimate.

The guest organist was Mr. Jame O'Donnell.  How on earth we managed to snag someone of his caliber to present a concert in a small venue here is still a mystery to me.  The man has a pedigree in organ that's astounding, and his technique and musicality is outstanding!  I was moved with every piece he played.

Mr. O'Donnell is currently a professor of the Practice of Organ at Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in New Haven, CT.  He has only held this position for a few months.  Prior to that, he was Organist and Master of Choristers at Westminster Abbey in London for 20 years! (Yes, he was in charge of all the music for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral last fall.)

He was born in Scotland, and moved to England while he was young.  He studied organ at The Royal College of Music, and later obtained a degree in Music at Jesus College, Cambridge where he was Organ Scholar.

I say all of this to urge all my SlideMeister friends to find an opportunity to go to a pipe organ concert sometime.  Watch how the organist so easily handles the complexity of the instrument.  Close your eyes and listen to the various tones and nuances that can be achieved on it.  Just sit there and enjoy the moment.  Mr. O'Donnell concertized last night for about an hour, playing pieces from J.S. Bach, Schumann, James McMillan (a contemporary composer) and Camille Saint-Saens.  It was magnificent!
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

Offline Gene Oh

  • PRESIDENT'S CLUB
  • Chrome-Minator
  • *
  • Posts: 644
  • Member
Re: Organ Concert
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2023, 01:46:19 PM »
I found this Youtube clip and enjoyed his organ playing.


Offline brorat

  • PRESIDENT'S CLUB
  • Chrome-Meister
  • *
  • Posts: 1,999
  • Member
Re: Organ Concert
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2023, 04:05:39 PM »
Thanks, Gene!  I'll pass that link to my wife, too. 
She LOVED what Mr. O'Donnell did on the organ last night.
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

Offline gvelasco

  • Chrome-Minator
  • ***
  • Posts: 579
  • Wannabe
Re: Organ Concert
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2023, 04:22:29 AM »
Love me some good pipe organ!!

Great instrument. Great musicians who can play it well. Props to them.
-=Gabriel=-

Offline John Broecker

  • (Time-traveller)
  • HELPER
  • MonsterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,673
  • Vintage 2K? Swan 1456 & JB
Re: Organ Concert
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2023, 09:24:56 AM »
I couldn't get your sample video of Jame McDonnell
to play. I would have loved to hear his great playing
of the great organ composers.

I've been a fan of church organ music for over 50
years, ever since I heard an organist from Kenosha,
Wisconsin, play it at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial
church in a German city (I've forgotten the city,
but it may have been Berlin).

Organ music is all-powerful, like a passing train.
By it's very nature, it sounds forceful and full.
But, it can also be soft and serene.

In the past centuries, churches were often designed
by architects, to re-enforce and improve the sounds
of massive pipe organs. The churches were amplifiers.

Some of J.S. Bach's greatest music was composed for
church organs. If you haven't heard an organ played
in a church, do so.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 09:29:09 AM by John Broecker »
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.

Offline brorat

  • PRESIDENT'S CLUB
  • Chrome-Meister
  • *
  • Posts: 1,999
  • Member
Re: Organ Concert
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2023, 09:47:03 AM »
I couldn't agree more, JB!  I've heard beautiful organ music in churches and venues in the U.S., England, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Spain.  When it's done right, it's amazing!
At the concert I attended last week, Mr. O'Donnell played one piece in which there were literally three different melodies being played at the same time:  One in the left hand, one in the right hand, and one with his feet.  Tempos different in each!  But it all fit together like a glove, and I can't imagine the skill involved in doing that.
The pipe organ has to be one of the most intricate and complex instruments ever invented. 
I'm sorry the link that was put up by Gene wasn't available to you.  It is a concert given by Mr. O'Donnell in England some 7 or 8 years ago.  The video is over one hour long, and there's some gorgeous music included.  Maybe you could simply Google something like "James O'Donnell organ concert" and see what pops up!  Good luck.
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

Offline John Broecker

  • (Time-traveller)
  • HELPER
  • MonsterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,673
  • Vintage 2K? Swan 1456 & JB
Re: Organ Concert
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2023, 08:31:56 PM »
Thanks, Brorat.

I'll Google the O'Donnell,
and be froppin' at the grits!!

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB
"Elton John is right up there with David Bowie."--Rick Harrison, "Pawn Stars" TV show, USA. Rick is discussing collectibles.