On March 8 at 4:00 pm, the Petrie School of Music will present organist Leon W. Couch III in Twichell Auditorium free of charge.
Couch is a highly-acclaimed performer, recording artist, scholar, and instructor, presenting organ recitals, masterclasses, and lecture-recitals throughout the United States. His recording Hamburger Rhetorik was released on the ProOrgano record label this past August, and his study of musical rhetoric Playing Dieterich Buxtehude’s Music Rhetorically was published in December by the American Guild of Organists. Couch will present a wonderful program carefully chosen from the best of organ repertoire.
Couch will open with Preludium in F-sharp Minor, a work by J. S. Bach’s most highly regarded predecessor Dietrich Buxtehude. This piece is remarkable in its extreme — almost Romantic — expression. Unlike most Baroque works that end as they begin, the musical material seems to parallel the story of the Crucifixion to the Ascension.
The second work on the program is a witty and impressive imitation of Buxtehude’s musical forms.
In the third piece presented, Pachelbel demonstrates his ability to sway listeners’ emotions using refined and subtle techniques. Variations on “Aria Sebaldina” from Hexachordum Apollinis conveys feelings of “relaxed despair and anxiety” and “helpless melancholy.” This will be followed by the exuberantly joyful Toccata in F Major by the enduringly well-known composer J. S. Bach. The program will close with Aria and Finale from Symphony No. 6 by the blind organist and composer Louis Vierne. The work uses the many aspects of the magnificent Casavant organ to represent the sounds of a symphony orchestra. It is a wonderfully exciting and virtuosic piece on which to end a delightful concert.