Drum roll, please … Here is the video for fantastic Joey Fala at the Woolsey Hall organ at Yale University for his graduate organ recital!
Here’s the program, with notes found on the internet:
Edward Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 4 in G Major, op. 39
This is a transcription of one of Elgar’s military marches written for orchestra. In the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer, Pomp and Circumstance No. 4 served as the recessional. As Diana’s veil was lifted and the couple bowed and curtsied to Queen Elizabeth II, the opening notes sounded and continued as they walked down the aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral out to the portico and the waiting crowds. (Wikipedia)
Maurice Duruflé, Prelude et fugue sur le nom d’Alain, op. 7
The Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, Op 7, is a tribute to Duruflé’s friend and colleague and the brother of the distinguished organist Marie-Claire Alain, Jehan Alain, who would undoubtedly have become a leading French composer, and whose life was tragically snuffed at the outset of the Second World War in 1940. Duruflé’s theme, based on letters of the alphabet, translates A-L-A-I-N as ADAAF. In the final section of the Prélude, Duruflé quotes the theme of Alain’s most popular work, Litanies. (Hyperion Records) [I played this piece on my senior recital from college!]
César Franck, Fantaisie en La majeure
This piece was one in a set of three that Franck composed for the inauguration of the organ of the Trocadero in Paris. This Fantasy often baffled his listeners. His original title of Fantaisie-Idylle nevertheless gives the key to his listening : one must be carried away by the touching and inspired dialogue of the three main ideas that it contains, developed with great freedom. (Bru Zane Mediabase) [I learned this piece in high school and have not heard it since!]
Thierry Escaich, Cinq verses sur le “Victimae paschali”
These Five Verses , which can be addressed as well to a classical instrument as symphonic, were composed in 1991 at the request of the Ministry of Culture for the Forum of the organs of Île-de-France. They consist of a succession of five short variations on the Easter sequence Victimæ paschali laudes, each characterized by a very particular universe.
• Verse I. It is a rhythmic variation of the theme characterized by unstable writing (based on syncopes or added values). Like most variations of this cycle, the verse evolves like a veritable little symphonic poem with a progression in several stages, a climax and a rapid fall-off where we witness the progressive elimination of the rhythmic theme.
• Verse II. Adagio with a particularly tense expressivity, it evolves in the form of a slow chromatic rise in a contrapuntal writing towards a summit in the form of a cry abruptly debouching on a coda completely stripped. The Gregorian motive finds the force to reappear only in fragments interspersed with silences.
• Verse III. Court intermezzo where the humor of the beginning is quickly thwarted by more breathless reminiscences of the previous variation.
• Verse IV. As in many of my plays (the central movement of the First Concerto for organ and orchestra, for example), it is a long processional march combining a slow stubborn walking element on the Victimæ paschali motif with one hand, and Presentation completely chopped, unstructured from the same theme to the other. The progression is then made towards an atmosphere more and more heavy and even crushing, sometimes interspersed with “flashes” in the form of bursts of chords.
• Verse V. A brief toccata with an irregular metric that sometimes tries to reconnect with a more breathless expression and phrasing seeming to reemerge previous verses. (Thierry Escaich website)
Herbert Howells, Psalm Prelude, Op. 32, no. 3
This is subtitled “Psalm 23 Verse 4 ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death’.” Howells composed Set 1 of his Psalm Preludes in 1915-16, clearly moved by the deep sense of loss that he had already begun to feel about the human waste of the world war as it continued its dismal progress. His musical response to such underlying feelings, which surfaced on subsequent occasions throughout his life, was often elegiac, but was also inflected strongly with a sense of complexity that derived from the formative influence of modal counterpoint on his work, especially in his instrumental compositions. The Psalm Preludes show also the ways in which Howells’ work is permeated at times with a sense of acoustic resonance that draws on his strong proxemic sense of church architecture and the texture it can lend to choral music in performance. (North London Chorus program)
Marcel Dupré, Prelude and Fugue in B major. Op. 7, no. 1
Marcel Dupré’s Trois préludes et fugues, composed in 1912, are among his most popular compositions for the organ. The first, in B major, is the most exuberant of the three, opening with a brilliant, toccata-like prelude. The busy fugue theme emerges naturally from the prelude and dances its way to a thrilling finish. This piece has been used as the closing voluntary for a number of major services at the cathedral in recent years, including the Inaugural Prayer Service for President Barack Obama in 2009. (Gothic Catalog)
Joey will be home on spring break to play two recitals in Hawaii! I just sent the postcard off to the printer, and will give you more information as the concerts draw closer.