Here's is what Ausra and I would have played at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris if not for the unfortunate fire
My friend James Flores asked me this question:
"Were you going to do improvisations at Notre Dame, Paris, before the church caught fire? Or was that a duet recital with Ausra? I would love to know what you were planning to play."
I think it would be a good idea to write a separate post about it.
Everyone knows that the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire and now this building needs restoration. The two organs inside of it apparently didn't burned down but I'm sure major or minor reparations will be necessary because of smoke and water that they suffered in the process.
Notre Dame has a long-standing tradition of Saturday night organ recitals where the best organists from around the world come to play a 40 minute recital. The line is quite long because there are so many requests. After you send your CD recording, 3 cathedral organists evaluate it and decide if you have what it takes to play the magnificent Grand Organ at Notre Dame.
Ausra and I passed this test but we had to wait for several years to be invited. Originally I had to play this summer (August 31, 2019) and Ausra - next summer (July 11, 2020).
The rules of performance is that they don't allow improvisations, don't allow organ duets. So we had to propose 2 separate programs each for them to choose and indicate our favorite.
My choices were:
Program 2: (Favorite) ("Amber Soundscapes: Organ Music from Lithuania")
Ausra's choices were:
Program 2 (Favorite):
They have selected my 2nd program choice (favorite) with Lithuanian music and for Ausra - 1st program with with music of J.S. Bach, Alain and Franck.
I'd like to share with you my composition "Veni Creator", Op. 3 which I would have played at Notre Dame in Paris this August (I played this piece at Co-Cathedral of St John in Valletta, Malta last May):
Ausra let me share her video of Andante in D Major by Felix Mendelssohn, one of her favorite pieces that she has ever played on the organ at Vilnius St. John's church in Vilnius (in general Mendelssohn's music works really great there):
Because of fire all future recitals at Notre Dame had to be postponed and I think they have put their recitalists on waiting list when the great organ will be operational again.
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Our Hauptwerk Setup:
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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