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  • 2017 February 26: Handel Organ Concertos

    February 26, 2017 10:30

    Handel is most famous for his oratorio Messiah (not "THE Messiah", just "Messiah", by the way) — only one of 29 he composed (not counting 42 operas, etc. etc.). Not content with regaling his audience with 3 hour oratorios, he also entertained them with music at "half-time" — concertos he composed for organ and orchestra, with George himself tickling the ivories. Organs in those days were typically small in England — frequently only one keyboard and no pedals (unlike the large instruments in Germany for which his contemporary J.S.Bach composed), so that's the instrument for which Handel composed. Modern organs are considerably larger, so modern arrangements now typically give the orchestra part to one keyboard and the original organ solo to the other, so one player plays the whole enchilada. (more )

  • February 12, 2017: Music Soothes the Manic King

    February 12, 2017 22:30

    When Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) arrived in Madrid at the end of 1733, he might have hoped for the sort of situation appropriate to a leading musician of his age. But it didn’t work out that way. (more )

  • 2017 February 5: The Varieties of Communion Experience

    February 05, 2017 10:30

    In my early twenties I was a ‘professional organ substitute’ for a couple years all over the Los Angeles area. One Sunday I might substitute at a rolling-in-the-aisles Pentecostal church, and the next at a Roman Catholic High Mass. It was a fun challenge, and definitely broadened my experience. (more )

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