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Hear César Franck's complete organ works... LIVE!

posted Mar 26, 2011, 9:43 AM by Steven Vaughan
All twelve organ compositions by celebrated composer César Franck are being presented in a series of four recitals by Mr. Steven Laplante, Dir. of Music Ministries for St. Athanasius Church.  The first already happened on March 6, but the second is coming up next Sunday, April 3 at 4:30 PM, with the last two following on May 8 and June 5.

Though born in Belgium, César Franck became the quintessential French organist of his time, and the most revolutionary organ composer since Johann Sebastian Bach.  Writing in a “symphonic” style for the organ, he exploited new stop sounds and effects, demonstrating the art of 19th century organ music at its highest.  His best known works are his Symphony in D Minor (which is heard in the 1944 film score of Double Indemnity) and his communion motet Panis Angelicus, originally written for solo voice with organ and strings. 

In May of 1890, Franck was riding in a cab which was struck by a horse-drawn trolley.  While recuperating, he wrote what many consider his masterpiece, the “Three Chorales” for organ.  Composer biographer Léon Vallas says “Their beauty and importance are such that they may be properly considered as a kind of musical last will and testament.”  These three works are Mr. Laplante’s program next Sunday, April 3.

Steven Laplante began training on the pipe organ at Montreal's McGill University, and started winning competitions within three years, including 2nd Place in Canada's 1996 National Competition!  Subsequently, he was a finalist at the Bach International Competition in Switzerland.  Coming from a religious family, he was exposed to liturgical ministry as Altar Server, Cross Bearer, and for the past twenty years, Choirmaster.

St. Athanasius Church is located at 6120 Bay Parkway, at 61st Street.  The concert is free.
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