Organ Sunday, September 30, 2018
When many people hear the name of Franz Liszt, often they think of a flamboyant man who wrote and played a lot of virtuosic piano music. They may know of Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies, and a couple of tone poems for orchestra.
While the above is true, what people may not realize, including myself until I began organ study a while back, is that Liszt has a considerable output of organ music. His active, cultured life contributed to this facet of his musicality, as well. You may have heard of the organ piece: “B- A- CH”, a large scale work in which Liszt’s recurring melodic idea spells the letters of Bach’s name. Perhaps another grand piece called: “Ad Nos ad salutarem undam” which means: “To us, to the saving waters” Any Latin scholars out there can check me on that. This work, called “Ad Nos” for short, is a brilliant, fantasy piece that is close to 30 minutes long. Liszt’s flamboyant fingerprints are definitely all over that piece!
Even though this Sunday, Sept 30th, is anniversary Sunday at Old First and time for celebration, it’s not my intent to overwhelm or scare anyone with an organ piece. Instead, I’ll be playing Liszt’s “Adagio” for organ, one of many short, reflective works suited for a church service. I think Liszt’s organ music was more popular in the 1970’s or 80’s, but no matter. I’ve always liked the range of emotion packed into his “Adagio” that invites the listener to reflect on the ebbs and flows of their own lives and faith. I hope you enjoy it.