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Phantoms of the Organ at the Metropolitan United Church

Last night, Mom and I went to the "Phantoms of the Organ" Concert put on by Music at Metropolitan and Toronto Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Final from Symphony VI by C.M. Widor
performed by Manuel Piazza

Petite Suite by Gerald Bales
performed by Saya Ojiri

Chaconne from Sonata III by Raymond Daveluy
performed by Stefani Bedin

Scherzo from Symphony 1 by Rachel Laurin
performed by Sarah Svendsen

Toccata and Fugue in D minor by J. S. Bach
performed by Thomas Fitches

Alles Was Du Bist by B. Nalle
Toccata from Suite Gothique by L. Boellmann
performed by John Tuttle

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies by P. I. Tchaikovsky
performed by Patricia Wright

Allegro from Symphony VI by C. M. Widor
performed by Joshua Ehlebracht

They were all amazing!

Thomas Fitches and John Tuttle performed the Toccatas that we all know and love to hear around Halloween. They did not disappoint!

Sarah Svendsen played one of my favourite Scherzos - better than ever!

I especially loved the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.... If we weren't watching, you wouldn't know it wasn't an orchestra! She played the parts of the entire orchestra! She used the harp stop to get the sounds of the celeste... but her two hands and two feet played the entire thing!

And, Joshua Elbracht, he is so young! He's in grade 12!
He is a bonafide genius!

One of the things that made me happy was that there were so many people there to support the organists. It was a free concert but they accepted donations to help student organists and it was a full house!

After the concert, lots of kids got to check out the organ at the Met. It is the largest pipe organ in Canada. It has 5 manuals, 120 stops and over 8,000 pipes!

Here is a picture of me with Patricia Wright. I tried playing the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.


Thomas Fitches' "Music at Midday" Concert at St. James' Cathedral

On Tuesday, Mom and I went to see Thomas Fitches play at the "Music at Midday" Concert at St. James' Cathedral. It was wonderful!

We started going to as many organ concerts as possible, because I convinced Mom that it is a part of my education. I want to become an organist and a part of that is listening to many good organists in concert. It was kind of easy to convince Mom to go, because she doesn't like listening to recordings. (It is the same way that Dad can't convince her to watch Baseball on TV, but she will go to games.)

At Thomas Fitches' concert he played:

  • Preambulo from Music for Organ by Sigfrid Karg-Elert

  • Voluntary II in A minor, Opus 6 by John Stanley

  • Suite on Magnificat of the Second Tone by Jean-Adam Guilain
Tuerce en Taille
Basse de Trompette
Trio de Flutes
Petit Plein-jeu

  • Fantasie from Fantasie Sonata #17 in B major by Josef Rhineberger

Even though I don't normally like discord,  The Preambulo was kind of cool!  I think it would be perfect for Halloween.

My favourite part was the Suite on Magnificat. I really loved the Dialogue and the Petit Plein-jeu.
I am beginning to notice that I like the French style of organ playing.

Here is a picture of me with Thomas Fitches. :-) 

He was so kind, and he explained to me how it is pipes in the pipe organ are voiced. He helped with voicing some of the pipes at St. James Cathedral in 1966 - 1967 for Alan T. Jackson of Casavant Freres.

He pointed out the lips on the pipes which  I never really noticed before. They hammer the lips to get them in tune. I think it is fascinating that they can go out of tune! And weather can affect them because metal can expand and contract when exposed to extreme temperatures.


Ian Sadler's "Music at Midday" Concert at St. James' Cathedral

Today, Mom and I went to St. James' Cathedral for their weekly "Music at Midday" concert. The Organist was Ian Sandler. He has been the the Organist at St. James' Cathedral since the beginning of this year. His playing is indescribable. It's amazing beyond words!

I won't tell you exactly what he played because he plans to do a similar program in a few months and I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I particularly loved the piece from Symphony No. 2 in E minor by Louis Vierne.  And I also loved the Hornpipe Humoresque by Noel Rawsthorne. It was a humorous piece that was actually funny! I was able to pick out quite a few familiar themes from different composers.

After the concert, I got to meet Ian Sandler, and both he and Robert showed me the organ. It is such a beautiful instrument!

Ian and Robert, thank you so much for a wonderful concert and for showing me the organ!


Imre Oláh at St. James Cathedral

Last Tuesday, Mom and I went to the organ recital at St. James Cathedral.

Imre Oláh played:

  • Toccata in F Major, BWV 540 by J.S. Bach
  • Adagio and Allegro, K 594 by W.A. Mozart
  • Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Op. 37 by Felix Mendelssohn
  • Consolation in D-Flat Major by Franz Liszt
  • Prelude and Fugue on the Theme of B-A-C-H by Franz Liszt

He was brilliant!

I loved it!
He had a balance of soft pieces as well as some loud powerful pieces which showed what the organ is capable of.

Before he played, he explained a little bit about the pieces that he was going to play.
One of the most interesting things he told us about was "B-A-C-H" which is a German notation where the "B" stands for B♭and the "H" stands for B♮.  (I am having trouble figuring out how to type the musical symbols - but I am still learning.)

So the Liszt piece "Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of B-A-C-H" is really "B flat - A - C- B natural".
Really cool!

The only thing I found strange in the concert was the guy walking around taking pictures. How could he have not noticed that a concert going on?


Playing on a Harpsichord

I got the chance to play a harpsichord.
Of course I couldn't turn it down.

I am learning this song on the piano. It's not polished yet.
But here is a video:

J.S. Bach's Minuet and Trio from French Suite Number 3 in B Minor.