This Saturday the members of my Unda Maris organ studio from Vilnius University will play a concert "Ave Maris Stella" at Vilnius University St. John's church. I founded Unda Maris 5 years ago. The pinnacle of the program will consist of the works of Antonio de Cabezon (1510-1566). This year we celebrate 450th anniversary from the death of this important Spanish Renaissance composer and blind organist.
Recently I have asked some of the members of the studio to share a few ideas what they find challenging on the organ and what they would like to learn in the future.
Mindaugas, the student from the Chemistry department who is dreaming on discovering the 147th element of the periodic table told me that he is working on the Caballero variations by Cabezon. The most challenging thing for him is to effectively articulate and adjust to the large acoustics of the church as well as when middle parts migrate from one hand to another.
"I like this piece because there isn't any single, continuous mood. In the entire cycle you can feel contrasts of moods but the piece remains unified nonetheless. I'd like to learn Bach's "In dir ist Freude", BWV 615." - shared the organ enthusiast.
Our endocrinologist Edita started playing organ only a few months ago and currently is working on one of Cabezon's "Ave Maris Stella" versets and finds it really challenging to play not entirely legato on the organ and to focus.
"I'm so glad to be able to touch the organ. I like the melodic nature of the piece. During my practice I learned that you can play beautiful melodies on this instrument. I wish to improve myself step by step and to learn a new melodic composition." - shared the medic.
Ruta, Lithuania's foremost expert on allergies and immunology also plays one of the "Ave Maris Stella" versets and says that the organ isn't particularly challenging to her at this stage. She loves the beauty of this instrument and would like to learn something to play with pedals within the next 3-6 months.
Gina from Vilnius University administration will play two of the duos by Cabezon and finds reaching fast tempo as well playing rhythmically particularly hard. She believes her piece is especially beautiful even though it looks simple. In the near future she would like to surpass the two-part texture and start playing trios as well.
Vytautas, a docent from the Physics department and an expert on radio electronics says that the most difficult challenges for him in his piece are several places with inconvenient fingering, focusing on articulation throughout the performance and quickly adapting from piano to the organ.
"I will play Cabezon's Gallard. It has quite a solemn character. I haven't played anything solemn like this either on piano nor on the organ before. That's why I love it so much. In the future I would like to finish learning Bach's D minor Toccata and Fugue, BWV 656 but I doubt that in a few months I will succeed in completing it because this requires an organ with a pedalboard." - shared the physicist.
Ausra's Harmony Exercise:
Chord Progression in F Major: I-vi-IV-ii-ii6-I64-V-V7-I
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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