|The organ at All Souls'|
Maude Gratton is a name that risen especially over the last couple of years; I’ve been trying to get her lauded 2009 recording of W. F. Bach’s Fantaisies, Sonates & Fugues, but it remains an expensive import. (Perhaps I’ll get lucky and she will bring copies to sell at the concert…) She won the prestigious organ prize at the Bruges festival and was named “Young Soloist for Public Francophone Radio Stations” in 2006. A rising star, indeed!
Bach is, of course, a big draw, but Maude’s program includes pieces by other very important organ composers. Buxtehude is an oft recognized name; Bach walked half way across German to Lübeck to observe and study with him. As an aside, Buxtehude was offering his daughter as an enticement to inherit his important position, a trap Bach escaped. Weckmann was another important name. Considered by the Elector of Dresden the local superstar, a competition was arranged between he and J. J. Froberger; he may have lost the competition, but he gained an important friend and supporter in Froberger. Nicolaus Bruhns is the one name I didn’t recognize, and for good reason: there are only five of his organ works surviving, but he was considered one of the most prominent organists of his time. C.P.E. Bach said that his father admired and studied Bruhns’ work.
Maude ends her program with a leap of a century to Félix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn was one of the most important musicians and organists of the early romantic period and key to the revival of J.S. Bach’s music and popularity. This isn’t such a leap, really: he was born only 59 years after Bach’s death. It will be fascinating to see how the concept of the organ evolved during that period of evolution.
You won’t want to miss this. All Souls’ is easy to get to and has plenty of parking. For advance tickets, call (619) 291–8246 with a credit card and they will be waiting at the entrance.