It’s only two days before Thanksgiving and I had a busy weekend, attending the chamber music concert with Linda Laderach, Larry Schipull and Grant Moss last Saturday at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu and Sunday’s Hawai’i Symphony Concert with violin soloist Augustin Hadelich and guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger.
Both concerts were excellent; the chamber concert featured music written for other instruments and transcribed for violin and organ or piano, including a four-hand organ version of Mozart’s Fantasia in F minor. As I wrote in a previous post, I met Larry and Grant on the historic pipe organ tour to Lorraine, France early in September and had heard them both play the organ. But I was pleasantly surprised to hear that both were equally capable on the piano! In fact, I learned that Larry did a double major of piano and organ in college. As for the Mozart, I of course play the single-player version and can’t imagine having to share the bench with someone else. You see, organists like to sit in the same place on the bench so that they can play the pedals without looking! So to be off to the side must present some unusual challenges.
Last night I invited the three to dinner at Little Village Restaurant (just two blocks away) and then we came back to my condo so that Grant and Larry could try out the Baby Organ, which they did and seemed to enjoy very much!
Whenever I am around organists, it seems that there is never a lull in the conversation—seems like we have so much to talk about! I was happy to learn that both Grant and Larry were classmates of Jonathan Dimmock at Yale, with whom I stayed last weekend when I was in San Francisco! And they reminded me that my former student, Joey Fala, was their houseguest just a few weeks ago when he was in the finals for the Albert Schweitzer organ competition.
This morning I found myself back at the console of the Aeolian-Skinner organ at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, playing for the Thanksgiving chapel for the St. Andrew’s Schools. I told Naomi Castro, their choir director, that I thought some of this music I’d never play again, since I no longer had a regular church job. But since I am an “interim” fill-in on a long-time basis, I’m having to play church music repertoire again. Today I played Bach’s “Nun danket alle Gott” (Now thank we all our God) for the prelude, in addition to five hymns including alternative harmonizations on the last verses of Nun danket alle Gott, Lobe den Herrn, and Hymn to Joy. It was a full-blown Eucharist, including the Proulx Sanctus. I also played “Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele” during communion, and a quick postlude by Hermann Schroeder before running off to teach a lesson. This afternoon I’ll have the first rehearsal with the Iolani Chorus for their Christmas concert.
Tomorrow I’ll play for chapel at Punahou School (I DO get around!) and tomorrow night my son and daughter-in-law arrive for Thanksgiving!