Robert Kaye I am Dr. Jordan's current rehab project
Robert Kaye, M.D. I am still Dr. Jordan's current rehab project.
Robert Kaye Dr Kaye is a retired physician from Lincoln City. He was an Organ student for several years until forced to quit secondary to physical problems. He has recently been able to resume playing. Dr. Jordan regards him a Rehabilitation project.
Passacaglia in C minor…………………Johann Sebastian Bach
The Original of this manuscript is lost to history. It is one of Bach’s early works, with suggestions that he wrote it at ages 22 or 23. The theme comes from an “idea” published by French Organist Andre Raison. From this Bach Produced a Passacaglia of 20 variations. Each Variation is 8 measures in length. The first group reach a Climax at number 12, follow by 3 “thinly scored variations”, with the final 5 reaching a dramatic finish. Performance times in recordings by various artists have varied markedly. The same is true of registrations. The latter seem to depend on the time period and the individual tastes of the artist. For some, the same registration is used for the entire piece. Others vary solo stops and colors for each variation. One recent U-Tube posting had almost all the stop changes in the Pedal. The Piece you will hear today seeks to emphasize the original theme as it flows through the manuals and Pedal. Note: In several Variations the interpretation varies from the Edition being used. A small portion was used in a Godfather Movie.
Litanies 1937...........................Jehan Alain 1911-1940
Prologue by the composer proceeding the composition. translated from the original French.
When the Christian soul in distress can no longer find new words to implore the mercy of God, it repeats the same invocation without ceasing with vehement faith. Reason reaches its limit. Only faith can take one further. - - Jehan Alain
The Supplicant marshals all resources of faith at the finale, to exhaustion. A final chord erupts in a monstrous 16 note scream to the heavens.
...His was one of the most unique voices in the 20th century organ composition, and it staggers the mind to imagine what the output of such genius might have been had he lived a full life. He was killed on a reconnaissance mission during World War II, June 194-. Posthumously awarded the Crois de Guerre for bravery. Stephen Buzard --2014
Sonata Eroica (1930)……………………………….Joseph Jongen
This Belgium composer’s musical talent was recognized at an early age, and he started Conservatory training at age 7. Compositions date from age 13. He started formal organ training at age 19. Within 4 years, he was receiving awards for his playing. The family moved to England during WWI, then returned to Brussels at the close. He returned to the Conservatory as Professor of Fugue and later became the Conservatory director. He retired in 1939 and devoted his later years to composition.
Descriptions of his music include, “extravagantly scored – generously melodic- richly romantic.” His best known works are the Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra, and this number for solo organ.
The Sonata Eroica has been described as “beautiful and ingenious melody, growing in intensity and made the subject of variations. These grow in intensity and animation concluding with a finely wrought fugato.” Portions compare to free verse in poetry.
The Sonata opens with 4 pages of bombastic chromaticism for chords, many up to 10 notes in height. The main theme present shortly thereafter as a “still small voice” and that is really where the body of the work begins. The last time you hear the theme it will have totally changed in sound volume.
Throughout the pages are 7 changes of key signature. As a direct result, the work has numerous “sneaky” modulations that are never recognized unless you are listening for them. These are not what one would use from one stanza to the next for a Sunday morning hymn. Tempos range from 44/min for a quarter note to 80 per minute for a half note. It is notorious for unusual sharps. There are multiple double sharps throughout the pages to keep company with the E and B sharps contained therein. On the last page is one measure with 5 E sharps and 5 G double sharps. He may have been “conflicted”. In the last line the pedal runs out of notes so a 2 octave leap gets one back up the pedalboard to continue the downward run. It’s fun to play.
You might listen for the “Pedal Point” that runs across 12 measures immediately followed by one 10 measure long. I forgot, there is a 2 page fugue near the middle. Remember Jongen’s position at the Conservatory in Brussels. It shows in numerous places throughout the piece.
Presenting this a joint effort of Dr. Jordan and myself. There is a tendency to use registrations on this number that leave it “muddy” or the sound “blurred” in several places. We’ve tried very hard to avoid this. Don’t try to figure it out. Just listen and enjoy.
I also want to thank Shelley Stoll for her kindness, patience, and generosity in providing practice time at NVPC over the past months in preparation for today’s concert.
First Organ Symphony – Finale………………………Louis Vierne Louis Vierne, the famous French organist died in the year of my birth as he completed a recital at Notre-Dame in Paris. He composed six Symphonies for Organ. The number you will hear today is the finale from the First Organ symphony and is the most familiar. As you hear this, remember that he was virtually blind.
"The Grand Finale isn't grande unless it's played by all the band.” Ogden Nash
Cantabile …………………………………………….Cesar Franck
The sound and emotion of Franck's music always gave me me the impression he suffered from a Chronic Depressive Disorder.
Considering the exploitation by his father in his preteen years, the bad press notices at the same time. and removal from the Paris Conservatory before completing studies certainly wouldn't have helped. Being forbidden to marry the love of his live and leaving home as a result didn't help. Listen to the music and see what you think.