Last Friday, I attended Vincent Dubois’ organ recital at Hill Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan. Vincent is a French organist and was a guest artist at U of M during the Fall 2013 semester and worked with their organ students. The concert was well played. Here are my highlights:
Played by Memory
In the picture of the pipe organ, a chair is visible to the left of the organ console. Just before the concert began the chair was removed. I overheard the person who removed it say it was for a page turner, but Vincent didn’t need one. He played every piece from memory. And Vincent was very good. Playing 90 minutes of music from memory was quite impressive!
Sonata on the 94th Psalm – Julius Reubke
I first heard this piece played at the closing concert at the AGO convention last July. I remember liking it back then and was quite taken with the piece. It was a joy to hear it performed again. It is a dramatic piece about 24 minutes in length. If you like to hear it, listen to Steven Stromberg’s video.
After Vincent played his prepared pieces, he was given two themes. The themes were just the melody lines from two pieces that Vincent had not played before. He was seeing them for the first time. He studied the pieces for a few moments. Then he began with his improvisation of the themes. The organist can make a simple tune sound grand. I am fascinated with improvisation. I learned a little bit about it at the AGO convention and understand that there is some techniques for it. It is absolutely amazing to hear when the improvisation is well done.
If you are wondering, I do not know how to improvise yet!