Midday Music for Organ to begin this Wednesday, September 6

Midday Music for Organ, Fall 2023, beings on Wednesday, September 6th in Sage Chapel at 12:30pm with “Echoes from the Land Without Music.” In a program ranging from Thomas Tallis to Charles Ives, University Organist Annette Richards invites listeners to mull over the ideas and sounds of Englishness, from Tallis’s extended musical meditation on the ‘Felix namque’ plainchant, to William Byrd’s experiments in contrapuntal and figurative invention, to Herbert Howells’ nostalgic reminiscences of an Elizabethan golden age, to Ives’ puncturing wit demolishing a tune known to the Brits as their national anthem.

Across the semester, organ recitals this fall offer music from six centuries and three continents on three organs played by five guest recitalists and the University Organist. At Midday Music for Organ on alternate Wednesdays at 12:30pm, informal 40-minute programs survey the organ’s rich and varied repertoire, from music by Corelli and his followers at the 1746 Neapolitan organ in Sage Chapel with Edoardo Bellotti (11/15), to Reincken and Mendelssohn with Jonathan Schakel at the Cornell Baroque Organ in Anabel Taylor chapel (9/20); from the demonic virtuosity of the brilliant 20th-century organist-composer Jeanne Demessieux on the 1940 Aeolian-Skinner organ in Sage with Daniel Minnick (11/1), to baroque imitations of glittering birdsong with Jeffery Snedeker in Anabel Taylor (10/18).

In a special Thursday Midday Music recital on November 30th, Annette Richards will present the organ music of the legendary Ethiopian composer, pianist, and nun Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru as part of a festival celebrating the life and music of Emahoy; and in a Friday lunchtime recital on September 15th, Annette Richards and David Yearsley will present “The Organ’s Nature,” a nature-themed recital on both of Sage Chapel’s organs as part of the festival “Sustaining Keyboards.”

Full-length recital highlights this semester include the dazzling young American organist Nathan Laube, also for “Sustaining Keyboards” at 5:30pm on September 16th in Sage Chapel, and, as a semester closer, Annette Richards in a complete performance of Messiaen’s cycle of nine pieces for the Christmas season La Nativité du Seigneur on December 8th at 8pm.

All events are free and open to the public.

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