Tuesday, December 15, 2015

“Organ Favorites” - Lynne A. Lauderdale

Hello Everyone, I don't have anything new for y'all but I wrote something earlier in the semester and have been disappointed that I had no use for it. I was trying to write a concert report for one of my classes but I realized that his one wasn't valid because it was merely a recital with only one person playing. If  there had been at least one other person performing in the recital I would have been able to use this bit for academic purposes but alas, the recital did not fit the criteria for the assignment. I have been so peeved about it all this time that I have finally decided to publish this as a blog post here on Experience. Enjoy. :)
I have been looking forward to attending Dr. Lynne Lauderdale organ recital because the instrument has always held a special place in my heart and because I have never been to an organ recital before. She played six pieces, three of which I took special notice of.

Personal Observations
The first is Prelude au Kyrie. I was eager to listen to this one because I myself play the Kyrie at my own church. It was interesting to hear how the prelude differed from my own experience of playing the song for congregational singing.
                Listening to Aria brought me back many years to my grandmother's church. As Mrs. Lauderdale played the music, memories of my grandmother and her devout Episcopalian faith played through my mind. I remembered visiting beautiful sanctuaries and listening to my grandmother explain the stories depicted on the stained glass windows. Sitting there in my seat I felt the urge to light a candle and say a prayer as I used to do with my grandma; I wanted to kneel in the front of the sanctuary at the foot of the cross and worship. Coming back to the present I looked at the pink slips of paper in front of me and contemplated writing a prayer request on one of them.
                The last song I want to talk about is Partita on Ein feste Burg. I suppose I could have guessed it was A Mighty Fortress is Our God seeing how in the program it said Martin Luther right after the title and the first verse of the song was included below, but I didn't get it until Dr. Lauderdale began playing the Scherzo section. All the time before I kept hearing snatches of a familiar tune and I was trying to figure out what it was. Once it became clear to me however, I was able to listen with a worshipful ear and I again began to think about my grandmother and my personal journey with Christ.

Critical Observations
When I wasn't wrapped up in memories of my past life I was busy listening to the intervals. I have a quiz coming up on Monday in my ear training class and I found myself listening for Major 6ths, Major 3rds, Perfect 4ths etc. This actually really bothered me because I couldn't get my brain to stop thinking about the mechanics of the music and to focus on the art of it instead. I especially appreciated the way the melodies were layered over the low bass notes but at the same time I was obsessed with figuring out exactly what pitch those notes were. I tried to listen for how the sound filled the room and tried to pin point which side of the room the low notes and the high notes were coming from. I took notice of how I was able to feel low pitches in my chest and the high notes in my head and I wondered how the shape of the sanctuary effected the way the music sounded.


Despite of, or perhaps because of my analytical ears, Dr. Lauderdale's performance that day was definitely a learning experience. I have always loved the organ and listening to her play so masterfully reminded me not only of the incredible skill it requires to play the organ and not sound terrible, but also of God's providence in my life as He used my grandmother to instill a love for the church in me.

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