This powerful blend of old and new traditions, Tanya Tagaq’s Qiksaaktuq (“Grief”) is a collaborative work dedicated to missing and murdered indigenous women and features the Inuit singer and composer as the soloist. This is what music does best – expressing what cannot be said any other way.
Francis Jackson (b. 1917): Fanfare “Royale” (1956) Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Fantasia in G major, BWV 572 Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, BWV 648 Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733 Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582 Louis Vierne: Carillon de Longpont Op. 31 No. 21 Olivier Messiaen: “Les mages” from La Nativité du Seigneur Louis Vierne: Berceuse Op. 31 No. 19 César Franck: Choral No. 3 in A minor Igor Stravinsky, arranged Maurice Besly: Berceuse and Finale from The Firebird
Davis Concert Organ, Winspear Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Jeremy Spurgeon is one of the mainstays of Edmonton’s classical music scene, whether hidden among the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, playing the piano or celeste or the organ, or as accompanist to solo recitals, or, of course, as the music director at All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral, a post he has held since 1980 – so he is now celebrating his 40th anniversary there.
He’s hardly been heard, though, in a solo recital, so his concert on the Winspear’s Davis organ on February 12, 2020, was a major event, put on by the Edmonton Recital Society, and very well attended. It was also beautifully presented, with atmospheric, colourful, and yet discrete lighting giving a sense of intimacy, of the performer playing for each individual member of the audience, in the giant space of the hall, backed by the magnificent cliff of pipes that is the Davis organ.
Two of his major teachers were Lionel Rogg, the famed Bach interpreter, and Gillian Weir, perhaps the finest of all the Messiaen organists, so it was hardly surprising that the first half should be largely devoted to Bach, and the second to Messiaen and his French precursors, Vierne and César Franck.
For Mark Morris’ full review of the recital in the Edmonton Journal, click here.