On Sunday at the Communion I play a Siciliano. Even in this age, composers use the Siciliano dance to rhythmically shape their music. Often at a moderately slow tempo, its metrical signature of 6/8 or 12/8 and its alternation of lilting dance rhythms evokes a calming effect. Perhaps the best known Siciliano setting is 17th c. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sicilienne from his sonata for Flute and Keyboard. Yet 19th c. French composer Louis Vierne’s transcription for organ of this piece causes a transformation of Bach’s work: from German to French, from Aria to Dialogue de recits simply with Vierne’s prescribed solo stop registrations of hautbois et flute.
On Sunday we kick off the Guild Concert Series will be our annual South Hills Organists Recital on Sunday September 23 at 4:00 pm.This year we feature in-house organists Christin Cooper, Alice Lee and me.Our guests are David Schaap, Organist and Choirmaster at Trinity Cathedral and Michael Andrew Hammer, organist at Third Presbyterian. Each of us will play around ten minutes of music that you will truly enjoy.
I will be in recital at the Heinz Chapel Reuter Organ next Sunday, September 30 at 3:00 pm. In a program called “Suites for the Sweet,” I will present a series of pieces of the same title by different composers. There are many settings of the same title; e.g. Toccata, Elegy, and Siciliano, or of the same compositional procedure; fugue, ground bass, etc. I will fashion mini suites from these similar titles by diverse composers, ancient and modern, including J. S. Bach, William Walton, Herbert Howells, Johann Pachelbel and others. The recital is free. You would be sweet to attend.