French organist played Slovak folklore

THE SLOVAK Philharmonic featured an organ-based cycle in its programme for the last season, offering four concerts of both Slovak and foreign musicians. French organist Thierry Escaich delivered a particularly memorable performance on the new organ in the Reduta on June 2, playing the works of French composers and an improvisation of a Slovak folklore tune.

Thierry EscaichThierry Escaich (Source: Courtesy of Slovak Philharmonic)

THE SLOVAK Philharmonic featured an organ-based cycle in its programme for the last season, offering four concerts of both Slovak and foreign musicians. French organist Thierry Escaich delivered a particularly memorable performance on the new organ in the Reduta on June 2, playing the works of French composers and an improvisation of a Slovak folklore tune.

An internationally renowned player, composer and improviser, Escaich has been lecturing on organ improvisation and composition at the Paris conservatory since 1992, he was elected as the official organist of St-Etienne-du-Mont in Paris in 1997 and he frequently tours the world, the bulletin for the concert states. In addition to many other works, he composed the music for the Frank Borzage film Seventh Heaven and for the New York Theatre’s production of the ballet The Lost Dancer.

In the Bratislava concert, he played the works of Marcel Dupré, Louis Vierne, Olivier Messiaen and Maurice Duruflé to an almost full concert hall. The works all date back to the first half of the 20th century, but are otherwise quite different, as some of them were not even composed for organ but transcribed from orchestral scores (like Messiaen’s Alléluia Sereins from the L’Ascension cycle).

Apart from these compositions, Escaich also played his own Trois Poémes pour Orgue (Three Poems for Organ) and improvised the Slovak folk song Anička, Dušička; and he also gave an encore after a rapturous applause. His summer concert offered a unique and more modern take on the possibilities of the organ, an instrument typically associates with a certain period and style.

In the 2013/2014 season, the Slovak Philharmonic will present the concerts of Jaroslav Túma (Czech), Bernhard Haas (German), Roman Perucki (Polish) and Bernadetta Šuňavská (Slovak based in Germany).

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