Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pre-Candidate Recital at U of M

On Friday, June 15, 2012 I attended Nancy J. Deacon's pre-candidate recital at the University of Michigan. U of M has several pipe organs on campus. This performance was on the Marilyn Mason Organ at Blanche Anderson Moore Hall which is located in the basement of the E.V. Moore Building. Andrew Langlands was the cantor.

I do not know what degree Nancy J. Deacon is a candidate for. The program did not provide any background information on Nancy and I did not stick around for the refreshments afterward to ask questions.

For the recital Nancy played three different versions of "Gloria":

Gloria from Messe pour les convents (1690) by Francois Couperin (1668-1733)
Gloria from Messe pour les paroisses (1689) by Francois Couperin (1668-1733)
Gloria from Livre D'Orgue (1699) by Nicolas de Grigny (1672-1703)

Nancy talked about each piece before she played and I learned that Gloria was (and perhaps still is) used during Roman Catholic Mass. The latin text of the Gloria was provided in the program as for each piece, the cantor would sing a few words (broken into couplets) of the Gloria and Nancy followed on the organ. This alternating pattern repeated for each of the 9 couplets.

The singing by Andrew and Nancy on the organ was well executed. However, by the end of the program, all three pieces seemed similar in style and I felt like I could not easily distinguish the differences between them. I could see in the program that the couplet names varied. And perhaps the breaking point for each couplet varied from piece to piece.

I also admit that I was a little distracted by my surroundings. Much to my surprise the organ hall was in the basement! The walls were made of cement (or similar material) and the floor was covered in square green tiles. I felt like I was sitting on a pew in a drained swimming pool! It is likely that the materials were chosen for their acoustic properties. Their appeared to be seating for about 100 and I estimate that there were about 45-50 people in attendance. Below is a picture of the hall and pipe organ.


The Marilyn Mason Organ

1 comment:

  1. That is a beautiful organ! And it's so big, I wonder if it's intimidating to play. What a neat place to hear a concert in, sounds like it was nice.

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