Dear friends, Welcome to a very special occasion in the life of the Plainfield United Methodist Church congregation, in the story of our community, and for sacred music overall. We often speak about both the journey and the destination – in life, in career, in community service, in our faith. At some points we must be more focused on the journey at hand, while at other times we look further down the road toward the destination. For this congregation, our decade-long trek toward realizing this shining, new pipe organ was about both the destination (a new instrument) and about our discoveries along the way. It is with the utmost respect and admiration for Ken Cowan that we unequivocally sought his expertise in sharing today’s grand unveiling with you. Ken is a master artist, a skilled interpreter of standard and emerging repertoire alike, and he will summon scores of colors from this instrument’s color palate. We welcome him to the bench today. Over the past 10 years, Thad Reynolds, David Reynolds and the entire team from Reynolds Associates have been right alongside PUMC on the journey. What style of organ do we need? What will address today’s needs, but also speak to the future musical needs of the congregation and our community? Thad and his team deserve ovation and accolades for delivering such an inspiring work of beauty. Thank you also to each person who gave so generously to this project. Through your financial gifts, the entirety of this pipe organ project was paid up front, providing a sound foundation for future generations. To each person who hosted fund-raising and friend-raising events in your home and elsewhere, thank you for helping us share our story. And a special word of thanks to each of you for your understanding that we must do something remarkable – something seemingly foreign and unknown – if we are to go forward into new, uncharted territory. And so, today we unveil publicly this congregation’s new pipe organ. In reality however, we turn the page into a new chapter of programming that is even larger than this mammoth instrument. We look forward to offering organ lessons for youth and adults alike. Concerts and recitals will fill this space with inspiring and entertaining music. Weekly worship is escalated to new heights of enlightenment and beauty. New music will be commissioned, and recordings released. If you have ideas about how you – or another organization from the community – might be interested in interacting with this pipe organ, please be in touch. We look forward to sharing this musical asset with you over the generations. Sincerely,
Michael Pettry Director of Music
Concert Order Grand Choeur Dialogué
Eugène Gigout (1844-1925)
Étude-Caprice, Op. 66
Rachel Laurin (b. 1961)
Fantasie-Choral No. 1 in D-flat major
Percy Whitlock (1903-1946)
Hymn 139: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Please turn to page 6 of this printed program to join in singing) Rákóczi March
Lobe Den Herren
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Arr. George Baker, after Liszt/Horowitz
15-minute Intermission Organ Concerto in G minor, Op. 4, No. 1 HWV 289
George Frderic Handel (1685-1759)
Larghetto e staccato
Allegro (cadenza: Jeanne Demessieux) Adagio Andante Méditation, from Trois Improvisations
Louis Vierne (1870-1937) (transcribed by Maurice Duruflé)
Mephisto Waltz No. 1
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) (arr. K. Cowan)
Upcoming Events Organ Concert: And Friends Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
The pipe organ may be the “King of Instruments” but it is as equally at-home playing solo repertoire as it is playing a supporting role. As part of the 74th annual PUMC Fish Fry, the pipe organ is joined by musical friends including singers, instrumentalists and even a pipe organ trio showcasing the versatility of the 2,000-year-old
The Great Organ Spook-tacular Saturday, October 28, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
Don your favorite costume and bring the entire family to a pipe organ concert perfect for all ages! With music ranging from Bach’s famous Toccata & Fugue in D Minor (known to many as the “Phantom of the Opera”) to a medley of tunes from Harry Potter, PUMC’s family-friendly Trunk-or-Treat tradition concludes with this open-to-all, informal onehour concert.
Christmas Eve Worship Sunday, December 24, 2017
Make Christmas Eve something especially memorable for the entire family. Celebrate the arrival of the Christ child through multiple worship opportunities at Plainfield United Methodist Church. New in 2017: Worship offerings expand with the addition of “Lessons and Carols” at 5:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. • 4:00 Family Worship • 5:00 NewDay Praise • 5:00 Lessons & Carols • 7:00 & 9:00 Candlelight & Choir • 11:00 Candlelight & Communion
Program Notes By Ken Cowan Eugene Gigout was a student of Camille Saint-Saëns, and served as organist at Saint-Augustin church in Paris for 62 years. His Grand Choeur Dialogué is full of fanfares and grandeur fit for a king or queen. It provides an ideal vehicle for demonstrating the commanding new Fanfare Trumpet on the back wall of Plainfield United Methodist Church. Also featured are the various ensemble sounds of the Swell, Great and Choir divisions, both separately and coupled. Rachel Laurin composed her Étude-Caprice, Op. 66, dubbed “Beelzebub’s Laugh,” in 2013 for a commission by Ken Cowan. It simultaneously explores instrumental technique and paints a dramatic picture in the spirit of past works, for example by Nicolo Paganini (Caprice No. 13 “Le Rire du Diable”) or Franz Liszt, (Chasse-Neige, or “Snow Storm”). Beelzebub is one of the many historical “nicknames” for the devil, and in one particular French 19th century illustration, this meddlesome adversary of humankind was illustrated as a fly. This image influenced the composer, who placed a playful spin on this idea when devising the musical character and themes of the piece. The “laugh” of this flying foe amusing itself is represented by repeated, descending chromatic chords, played in a “short-short-long” rhythm. A lyric second-theme introduces a contrasting, more flowing character, but like one trying to go about their business in the presence of a buzzing fly, it is constantly interrupted by its adversarial counterpart. Educated as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral, and later a student at Guildhall School and the Royal College of Music in London, Percy Whitlock studied composition with C.V. Stanford and Ralph Vaughan Williams. By the 1930s he was known as one of the finest organists in England. Whitlock’s two substantial Fantaisie-Chorals were published in 1931, shortly after he accepted a position at St. Stephen’s Church in Bournemouth. Their chosen titles and free, large-scale variation form could suggest an homage to the three chorals of César Franck, and the Gothic-revival building at St. Stephen’s would have provided inspiration for music fitting a grand, expansive setting. Beginning and ending softly, Whitlock develops two themes in his Fantasie-Choral in D-flat, the first hymn-like and the second more flowing and yearning in character. His stated fondness for the compositional styles of Elgar, Rachmaninoff and Delius is evident, and he encourages use of a great variety and range of the organ’s sounds. Hector Berlioz included the “Hungarian March,” which has been associated with Francis Rákóczi II, in La Damnation De Faust, which he wrote in 1846. Among the arrangements Franz Liszt made of this theme was his Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15, which was further embellished by the great pianist Vladimir Horowitz. George Baker has adapted this rollicking piece for organ solo in the arrangement to be heard today. George Frideric Handel wrote sixteen organ concerti during his lifetime, which were originally conceived as music to entertain audiences between acts of his monumental oratorios. Handel, a virtuoso organist and great improviser, would have been the intended soloist and conductor. He therefore frequently left sections of these scores marked “ad libitum,” meaning that he was intended to improvise a portion of the piece at the organ during performance, making a truly spontaneous experience. Marcel Dupré transcribed these charming works for organ solo, which beautifully feature the contrasting sounds inherent to the pipe organ. The Concerto in G minor, Op. 4, No. 1 is structured in four contrasting sections: A stern introduction in dialogue between organ and orchestra introduces the concerto before leading into a jubilant Allegro, which is the most extensive movement in the work. The conclusion of this movement will feature a cadenza written 3
by Jeanne Demessieux for a recording made around 1959. Demessieux takes Handel’s themes and gradually merges them with her own twentieth century harmonic style, each phase seemingly more daring than the previous. A short Adagio provides a moment of repose before a dance-like Andante concludes the concerto. One can imagine dancing a graceful minuet to its lilting rhythms, which underpin two increasingly complex variations on its theme. Around 1930, Louis Vierne was asked to make some recordings on the famed Cavaillé-Coll organ at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. In addition to composed works of his own and Johann Sebastian Bach, he documented his famed abilities as an improviser, recording three works which were created spontaneously, and captured on 78 rpm records. Some years later, Maurice Duruflé, a student of Vierne and a great composer in his own right, wrote down these improvisations while listening to the recordings repeatedly. The beautiful Méditation conjures a tranquil mood, and explores the organ’s lush flute and string registers. Franz Liszt, the pianist of international fame, also had a great deal of enthusiasm for the pipe organ. Liszt’s organ improvisations were remarkable enough to have been admired by Saint-Saëns and Widor. Liszt epitomized the master transcriber of the 19th century, seemingly arranging anything that pleased his ears, stretching from Bach’s fugues, Beethoven’s symphonies, and Schubert’s lieder all the way to operas by Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Wagner. It seems therefore appropriate to perform transcriptions of Liszt’s own works for instruments other than they were originally conceived. Liszt himself transcribed his Mephisto Waltz No. 1 for piano solo, and it remains a concert staple to this day. The version of this work to be performed today is an arrangement combining material both from the orchestral score, and Liszt’s piano adaptation. Liszt’s two versions differ substantially, particularly in the musical textures chosen during the central “waltz” section of the piece. Dating from 1859-61 and first performed at Weimar in the latter year, the Waltz is the second of Two Episodes from Lenau’s Faust and is known both as “The Dance at the Village Inn” and as “Mephisto” Waltz No. 1 (the first of four pieces thus titled). Liszt was fascinated by the tale of Faust and wrote many works inspired by elements of the story. Nikolaus Lenau (1802-50) was a partly Hungarian poet who wrote mainly in German and went mad in 1844. His Faust (1836) is a lengthy verse epic often of mystically religious character with descriptions of nature and many incidents different from Goethe’s version of Faust. During the scene illustrated by Mephisto Waltz No. 1, Faust and Mephistopheles enter a country tavern where peasants are dancing at a wedding party. Mephistopheles tempts Faust to attempt to court the innkeeper’s lovely daughter, but Faust shies away from his request. Mephistopheles becomes annoyed at Faust’s seeming lack of gall, since Faust has already shown courage enough to bet against the devil. He therefore takes out a violin, tunes it and puts everyone under a spell with his playing. After introductory music imitating the tuning of Mephistopheles’ violin, the opening section features a relentlessly frenzied and jagged tune, embellished with a variety of fleeting technical fireworks. Finally, we are led to a more tranquil section where Faust’s theme, a swaying and hypnotic waltz melody is introduced. The development of this theme dominates the end of the piece. It is in several ways transformed by Liszt, as is Faust under the spell of Mephistopheles. Finally at the height of their madness under Mephistopheles’ spell, Faust, his maiden and all the other partiers flee out into the woods. The music may seem at times torrential, but when the scene has played itself out, the stars are still shining and we hear a nightingale singing before the composition’s final chords.
About the Artist Regarded as one of North America’s finest concert organists and praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique, and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, Ken Cowan maintains a rigorous performing schedule that takes him to major concert venues in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Recent feature performances have included appearances at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, Spivey Hall, Maison Symphonique in Montreal, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as concerts in Germany and Korea. In addition, Mr. Cowan has been a featured artist in recent years at national conventions of the American Guild of Organists in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Houston. He has performed at many regional conventions of the AGO and has been featured at several conventions of the Organ Historical Society and the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Numerous critically acclaimed compact disc recordings by Mr. Cowan are available. His most recent releases are Ken Cowan plays The Great Organ (Pro Organo), recorded on the newly-restored organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City; Works of Franz Liszt (JAV), recorded on the Michael Quimby organ at First Baptist church in Jackson, Mississippi; and Ken Cowan Plays Romantic Masterworks (Raven), recorded on the 110-rank Schoenstein organ at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition to his solo recordings, Mr. Cowan also joined organist Justin Bischof in the 1999 world-premiere recording of American composer Aaron Miller’s Double Concerto for organ, recorded with the Zurich Symphony Orchestra on the Kleuker organ in the Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland (Ethereal Recordings). Many of Mr. Cowan’s recordings and live performances have been regularly featured on the nationally distributed radio show PIPEDREAMS from American Public Media. A native of Thorold, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Cowan received the Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, studying organ with Thomas Murray. Prior to attending Yale, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with John Weaver. In 2012, Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as Associate Professor and head of the organ program. He is Organist and Artist-in-Residence at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, TX. Previous positions have included Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award, and Associate Organist and Artist in Residence at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.
Thank you for joining us today. We welcome you to return soon for weekly worship and other events of the PUMC Concert Series.
Sunday Worship Classic Worship: 8:30, 9:50 & 11:10 a.m. NewDay Praise Worship (Contemporary): 9:50 a.m. Youth Worship (Grades 6 - 12): 9:45 a.m. Bible Explorers Children’s Worship (Grade K - 5): 9:45 a.m.
Music Ministry Opportunities Adult Choir Summer Chorus Three Bell Choirs Children’s Bell Choir: Kinderbells NewDay Praise Team Gospel Quartet Chancel Octet Piano & Pipe Organ Lessons The sanctuary is available for musical recitals for your piano, voice or other studios. Contact Michael Pettry Director of Music firstname.lastname@example.org
Plainfield United Methodist Church 600 Simmons Street • Plainfield, IN 46168 (317) 839-2319 • pumc.org