Monday, October 06, 2008

Stabilization is Chaos: How organ recitals are created

A while ago, I posted on an organ recital program which I intended to undertake. Alas, my schedule got too full and I decided to put the idea on hold. But wait! One of the things on my schedule turned out to be a fools errand (hmmmm.....what could that have been?), and so I found myself lamenting the recital cancellation last evening.

"Well, I suppose you could put something together, even at this late date," I said to myself. And I have. What this contrived turn of events has forced me to do is to simplify. (Who was it that said that the greatest artist is the simplifier?) This has yielded a program which, if necessary, I could play publicly with ten minutes' notice:

Marchand Grand Dialogue in C
Bach Alle menschen muessen sterben (from the Neumeister Chorales)
Buxtehude Prelude in G Major
Calvin Hampton In Paradisum
Bach Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543
Langlais selections from Hommage a Frescobaldi
Boellmann Suite Gothique

The lesson here is that sometimes the best solutions are ones that are found under strict limitations in a chaotic environment. I myself have a tendency to plan too much, and to think too much. (Jeffrey Tucker says that I have a "risk-averse personality." He's right.) Planning--stabilization--is chaos. Chaos is artistic order; it's the fertile soil in which stuff actually gets done.

This recital will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church (that's my other church job, where we do more Catholic music than most Catholic churches), 2300 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA, on Sunday, November 9 at 4pm.

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