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You are invited to an evening of Mozart and improvisation

October 4, 2012 Arts & Entertainment, Local News No Comments

On Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 pm, St. Paul’s Willimantic will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its Fisk Alleluia Organ with a recital featuring Dr. Jason Roberts. Composite by HTNP.com

On Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 pm, St. Paul’s Willimantic will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its Fisk Alleluia Organ with a recital featuring Dr. Jason Roberts.

The free performance will be held at the church, at 220 Valley Street (corner of Valley and Walnut), in Willimantic – the church with the red door.

Dr. Roberts is the Organist and Choir Master of St. James Episcopal Church in West Hartford and is noted for his improvisational talents.

The program will feature the Mozart Fantasy in F minor and will close with an improvisation.

Dr. Roberts’ academic background ranges from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music to the Manhattan School of Music – where he earned his doctorate – and includes study at Rice University.

His performance experience includes winning the 2007 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition and the 2008 AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation.

In the summer of 2013, he will be the featured recitalist at the New England regional convention of the American Guild of Organists.

Refreshments will follow the recital.

The music and refreshments are open to all as part of St. Paul’s commitment to supporting the local community.

Donations toward the support of our music and arts programs will be gratefully accepted.

About the Fisk Alleluia Organ*

Named the “Alleluia Organ” at the request of Mrs. Alfred S. Hale, the principle donor, Opus 57 has a tonal design based on organs already old in the time of J. S. Bach.

The case is a single unit with a high, wide, shallow cabinet of catspaw-figured white oak with a mahogany keydesk built into the lower face and burnished tin pipes in the façade.

The naturals are made of grenadil, the sharps and flats of ivory-topped rosewood, and the faces of the stop knobs are hand-engraved ivory.

This case design and layout were subsequently used in modified form in two other organs, Opus 62 at Ascension Memorial Church in Ipswich, Mass. and Opus 65 at Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Mass.

These historic organs were conceived as instruments of two divisions only. The Pedal and the Great formed one division, and the Choir, or Positive, formed the other.

It was customary at that time to play the bass part on the manuals instead of on the pedals. Opus 57 allows for both through the use of mechanical transmissions from the Great to the Pedal, opening interesting possibilities for the performance of early music, especially the music of France before and during Bach’s time.

To aid in the performance of the French classic literature the Trumpet and Cremona are closely based on the work of François-Henri Cliquot, the last of the French classic builders.

The Swell division is located above the console in Brustwerk position. The Pedal 16′ reed is an independent stop.

This organ is the first in which C. B. Fisk made use of double-draw stops, which when pulled halfway enable one rank to play, and when drawn fully add a second rank. This system appears in many later organs.

*From the C.B. Fisk Inc. web site

Posted October 4, 2012 based on a press release as edited and added to by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan

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