Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All Saints’ Day Concert Featuring Rare Organ Program in

On November 1, at 6:00 pm organist Richard Spotts will appear at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston, Maine, to perform excerpts from the seminal work L’Orgue Mystique, by French composer Charles Tournemire (1870-1939). He will be joined by the Saints Peter and Paul Schola Cantorum.

The concert, a musical Pilgrim’s Progress, will depict the life of a saint. Themes of divine love, redemption, grace, transformation, and rejoicing will be presented through the sounds of the Basilica’s magnificent Casavant organ, the largest church organ in the state of Maine.

L’Orgue Mystique, considered to be Tournemire’s magnum opus, was written over a 5 year period beginning in 1927. It consists of 253 movements and represents the fifty-one Sundays and feasts of the Roman Catholic liturgical year. Based on over 300 Gregorian chants, the piece is considered a pivotal movement in the history of organ music, bringing the ancient instrument’s sound into modernity. Unfortunately, because the work was written during the chaotic period following the devastation of World War I, followed by the Great Depression and World War II, this magnificent piece has been forgotten.

Acclaimed organist Richard Spotts, a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, has performed excerpts from L'Orgue Mystique​ throughout the United States and Canada. He is currently writing a book on the subject.

 The concert is free and open to the public; it will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Fr Kyle Doustou, a priest of the diocese of Portland who sent us this information, writes: “Additionally I would like to note that the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul (pictured below) is really an epicenter in the Diocese of Portland, Maine for the dignified celebration of the Liturgy. In addition to Mass in the Extraordinary Form, which is offered every Sunday and Holy Day, the Basilica boasts of beautiful and reverent liturgies celebrated in Latin, English, French, and Spanish on a weekly basis, all of which are celebrated in the spirit of the new liturgical movement. The principal Mass on Sundays - which is the Usus Recentior celebrated in English and Latin - draws hundreds of people from around the state, including many young families.”

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