A Brief Story of Peter Abelard - James Whitbourn
(for Organ and Soprano Saxophone)
Jeremey Powell, soprano saxophone
Collegium Cantorum, chant
A Brief Story of Peter Abelard tells the story through music of the life and death of Peter Abelard, the medieval philosopher, poet and musician, born in France in 1079. The work is a set of variations on his hymn tune O quanta qualia, each of which paints an episode of Abelard’s life, each identified in the score.
Scherzetto from Sonata in C Minor - Percy Whitlock
Perhaps one of the finest examples of light organ music from the English tradition is Percy Whitlock’s Scherzetto. This movement comes from his monumental Sonata in C minor, which is perhaps his greatest contribution to the organ literature. Full of scurrying sixteenth-note flourishes, syncopated pizzicato-like pedal notes, and an ever changing meter, the piece reveals Whitlock’s playful sense of humor to both the performer and listener alike.
Deux Esquisses, Op. 41, No. 2 in B-flat Minor - Marcel Dupré
Written in 1946, the Deux Esquisses Op. 41 (Two Sketches) are demanding compositions that pushed the boundaries of organ writing and technique. Together they were part of a series of etudes that Dupré was writing for his prize pupil, Jean Demmessieux and were meant to be a vehicle to display her virtuosic abilities. Both test the abilities of organ and organist alike. The second sketch (B-flat minor) is a tumultuous, diabolical toccata in octaves for manuals and pedal that demonstrates the full resources of the organ.