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Come to an organ recital...

posted Mar 13, 2015, 1:59 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Mar 13, 2015, 2:00 PM ]
In 1849, Giacomo Meyerbeer premiered his Le prophète at the Paris Opéra. Set during the religious wars of 16th century Germany, its first act contains a rabble-rousing call to repentance and re-baptism as three Anabaptists intone the Latin text Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, iterum venite miseri ad nos, ad nos venite populi (To us, to the water of salvation, come to us again, you who are wretched, come to us, you people.)

While Hungarian composer Franz Liszt was one of the greatest pianists of his time, his skill on the organ was relatively limited by his lack of fluency using pedals. Nevertheless, he took an interest in it, and for his first organ composition took thematic material from Meyerbeer’s opera, dedicating it to him. Composed in 1850, Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam," is also Liszt’s longest, lasting nearly half an hour. Often pianistic in its figuration, it’s actually in three sections instead of its titled two: opening with a fantasy, or impromptu-style section that moves on to an adagio, or slow part, before the fugue, which is when a melodic theme is introduced by one part, then repeated successively at different pitches by others and developed by interweaving them.

We have an opportunity to hear this monumental work live! Next Sunday, March 15 at 6:30 pm Our Lady of Refuge Church in Ditmas Park presents a recital by Spanish organist Loreto Aramendi to benefit the maintenance fund on their newly restored Kilgen pipe organ. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and may be purchased online at olrbrooklyn.org/organ-recitals-in-new-york-city/. For more info, check out facebook.com/kilgen5163.