Sunday, September 13, 2015



September 11, 2015
Harry and Myrtle Olson International Music Festival
David di Fiore, Organist -
University Temple United Methodist Church, Seattle

Grand Jeu with Thunder Effects - Michel Corrette
Cantabile Symphonique from the Organ Symphony - Camille Saint-Saëns
Toccata and Fugue in d-minor - J. S. Bach
Sonata on the 94th Psalm - Julius Reubke
Just A Closer Walk with Thee- Joe Utterback
Sonata No. 1 in d minor Final - Felix Alexandre Guilmant
All' Offertorio - Domenico Zipoli
Etude in c-sharp minor - Octaves - Jeanne Demessieux
Come Sunday - Duke Ellington (as an encore)

David di Fiore
The close relationship between the technological feat that constitutes each individual instrument and the personality of the creative musician pervades the organ repertoire of the last few centuries in a way that echoes the relation between the various au courant electronic technologies and many of our contemporary musicians. This is front and center in the Corrette, where one could so easily imagine some young punk organist late at night figuring out how to play all the pedal notes at once and thinking "sounds like thunder! I'll make a piece with thunder in it." But it isn't such a great conceptual distance from there to the growly trills of Guilmant, or to the ballsy octaves of Demessieux, or, for that matter, to the blinding glories of the T&F in d.m. The glee and fetish of let's see what I can do with this machine arises from the same tinkering spirit that animates computer music, analog synth music, frippertronics, and every guitar player with a new fuzz box.

David has been organist at our church for over 40 years (and choir director for about 15). He has been a valued colleague and friend since Karen and I first started attending the Temple almost 30 years ago. Although we have had the pleasure, week after week, of hearing David play, and of seeing his repertoire grow both in size and depth, I do believe there was some particular fire in play Friday evening. Today was his last Sunday with us, and it is with sadness and pride that we watch as he sets off for new duties as cathedral musician for the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier in Banská-Bystrica, Slovakia.

David: We have seen how Europe in general, and especially your many friends in Slovakia, have been pulling you to them for years now. One blogpost is not enough to say it all. We'll miss you terribly, but we also know that, for you, it's time to bloom in a new garden. Godspeed David!


September 7, 2015
Concert Overture op. 40 "Cockaigne" - Elgar - London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis

The center of empire as seen by the center of empire. Elegant, glittering, spirited (gung ho!), self-satisfied, militaristic, pompous.

September 8, 2015
Hallowe'en - Ives - New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein

This otherwise interesting study in short stringy filaments is marred (at least in this recording) by a colorless, uncontributive piano sound - as though it were speaking with it's hand in front of its mouth - and by an unfortunate and badly calibrated cadence. Sorry Charlies, if you're going to throw away a piece please throw it all the way away.

Symphony in F-sharp minor (#10) - Mahler - BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Mark Wigglesworth

Stray bits of dire stuffed into cupboards, spilling from closets, clogging the hallways - a hoarder's house of fraught incongruities.

September 10, 2015
4 Orchestral Songs, op. 22 - Schoenberg - Philharmonia Orchestra, Robert Craft

More like operatic scenes than songs, in that the singer isn't reciting poetry but instead has become a puppet for a character that speaks from within the text.

Muscle Shoal Blues - unattributed - [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Sonata 1926 - Bartok - June de Toth

an insistance
an incessance
a you will hear this
an in your face

In Session at the Tintinabulary

September 7, 2015
Gradus 274 - Neal Kosály-Meyer

As notes accumulate from the gradus-global machine for use in individual session-rungs, there are moments, especially first moments, in which a chosen sonority holds within itself the degree of unstable complexity from which one could imagine an old-fashioned piano sonata emerging, some never-composed Beethoven movement perhaps, a sound poised teetering on the edge of any number of precipices. It is as though a single step had brought us into a new realm of elaborative possibilities, one foot-fall from austerity to super-abundance.

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