U of M School of Music Organist Ju Young Lee performs a varied program with music by J. S. Bach (Trio Sonata No. 1), Charles-Marie Widor (Allegro Cantabile from Symphony No. 5), and an exciting recent work by the contemporary Lebanese-born Parisian composer Naji Hakim (Arabesques, composed in 2009). She will close her program with Julius Reubke’s monumental Romantic Sonata on the 94th Psalm. Ju Young Lee is in the second year of her studies toward the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance at the School of Music, where she studies with University Organist Dean Billmeyer. The recital fulfills a portion of the “dissertation” requirement for the DMA degree.
Johan Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
Trio Sonata No.1 in E-flat Major, BWV 525
Charles-Marie Widor (1844 - 1937)
Organ Symphony No.5, Op.42, No.1 (1879)
2nd mov. Allegro Cantabile
Naji Hakim (1955 - )
Julius Reubke (1834 - 1858)
Sonata on the 94th Psalm in C minor (1857)
This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of requirements for the DMA degree in Organ Performance. Ju Young Lee is a student of Dean Billmeyer.
Trio Sonata No. 1, Eb Major, BWV 525
According to Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1818), the author of the first biography of J. S. Bach, Bach composed Six Organ Trio Sonatas (BWV 525-530) for his eldest son Wilhelm Friedman Bach. Trio Sonatas in the Baroque era typically were composed for two upper part instruments such as violin, flute, or oboe, and the continuo part played by cello or bassoon, and a keyboard instrument such as a harpsichord or organ. But Bach’s Trio Sonatas were composed for the organ. Bach borrowed the form “Trio en Dialogue” (for two manuals with contrasting and pedal) which was used by French organists at the time. The Trio Sonata, unlike other organ works by Bach, can be considered to be chamber music, but this is a work well suited to the characteristics of the organ. Compared to Bach’s other organ music, it may sound simple, but it requires delicate and sophisticated skills from the organist.
Allegro cantabile from the Organ symphony. No.5
Charles-Marie Widor conceived and composed 10 organ symphonies based on the Cavaillé-Coll organ in St. Sulpice, where he served as an organist for 64 years. Widor is the first composer who used the term “Symphony” for his organ works. He regarded the concept of “symphony” as a medium rather than a form, and he used the term “Symphony” to emphasize its similarity to an orchestra, as an instrument capable of adjusting tone, dynamics, and sound like an orchestra. The most famous piece is the toccata, finale movement of the Organ Symphony no.5 which was played for Royal Weddings. However, the piece to be played today is the second movement, Allegro Cantabile has beautiful melodies and harmonies.
A Lebanese-born Parisian composer, conductor and organist, Naji Hakim (1955- ) composed Arabesques for his wife, Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet, an honorary Organist of the Grand-Orgue Cavaillé-Coll of the Notre-Dame-des-Champs church in Paris. Here is the note by composer:
“Song and dance are at the heart of this suite for organ, which reflects the overlapping influences of jazz and Mediterranean folk music. The six movements—Prélude, Pastorale, Libanaise, Arabesque, Litanie, Rondeau—are characterized by ornamental melodies, modal harmonies, irregular meter and an expressive quality inspired by joy.”
Organ Sonata on the 94th Psalm in C minor
Fredrich Julius Reubke (1834-58) was a German composer, pianist and organist. During his short life, he didn’t compose many works, but the 94th Psalm Sonata is a masterpiece that represents the best of 19th century German romantic organ music, and has a wide dynamic range from pppp to fff. It is a programmatic music based on the context from the Psalm 94. It was composed using single thematic elements that were circulated throughout the whole movements to express consistently the texts. In addition, this song not only quotes the lyrics of the psalms, but also expresses the contents of deep faith in music, and also shows the characteristics of the organ in the romantic era of that time.
Here are the Psalm 94 verses using each movement:
1 The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve
(Allegro con fuoco)
3 How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant?
6 They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, “The Lord does not wee; he God of Jacob takes no notice.”
17 Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them. (from NIV)
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