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REVIEWS
Michael Beattie at St. James' Episcopal Church, Oct 3, 2010

Michael Beattie at St. James' Episcopal Church, Oct 3, 2010

Beattie played an all-Bach organ recital after that satisfying and peaceful marker for the transition from afternoon to evening known as Choral Evensong. He opened with the dramatic Prelude & Fugue in c minor (BWV 546), using a full sound - from 32' to mixtures - t...

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Olivier Latry and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, February 5, 2010

This program was a blockbuster. It featured Notre Dame Cathedral titular organist Olivier Latry, three very different French (technically one was Belgian) works for organ and orchestra, the Mississipi Symphony Orchestra directed by Crafton Beck, the large Casavant organ in Galloway United Methodist Church, and a near-capacity audience.

The first piece was titled "Bolero Improvised on a Theme by Charles Racquet", by Jean-Marc Cochereau. It requires a bit of explanation. First of all, French organists are expected to improvise extensively. While in the U.S., almost all church service music is played from composed scores, and an improvisation is unusual, in France almost all church music is improvised, and the use of a composed score is...

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The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra at the Belhaven University Arts Center, January 9, 2010

The Annual Mozart-by-Candlelight program opened with the Overture to Cosi fan tutte, K.588, played with enthusiasm and a generally full sound. Mozart's Symphony #4 in D, K.19, followed, notable because it was composed when Mozart was 9 years old. Then we heard the Mississippi Chorus Chamber Choir in the "Regina Coeli" K.276. In my experience performances with chorus and orchestra often turn into a who-can-sing/play-louder contest, and when that happens the instruments almost always win. That didn't happen here, for two reasons: first, because Mozart (and Haydn before him) understood the dynamics, with lighter scoring especially for solo voices, and second, because Conductor Crafton Beck also understood the dynamics and restrained the instru...

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