Kimmel Center Celebrates Organ's First Anniversary with Marathon on May 5

Classic Arts News   Kimmel Center Celebrates Organ's First Anniversary with Marathon on May 5
 
Just this time last year, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia inaugurated the new Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, the largest concert-hall instrument in the U.S. To celebrate, the Philadelphia Orchestra brought in the titular organist from Notre Dame in Paris for an organ-and-orchestra spectacular, and the Kimmel presented a five-organist, five-hour marathon concert.

Critics came from far and wide — here are some of their reactions:

"A versatile 6,938-pipe beast with a wide tonal palette and enough heft to compete with a symphony orchestra at full throttle."
- Barbara Jepson, Wall Street Journal

"Its gleaming silver pipes soar more than three stories above the stage, and its voice rises from subtle to booming."
- Randy Pennell, The Associated Press

"It's a sweet, mellow-sounding instrument, made that way to blend well with the famed Philadelphia strings."
Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"[It] can do just about anything. Outgun the Philadelphia Orchestra, for one. This baby can crank up the volume to bone-tingling effect."
- Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun

"The Kimmel organ timbres tend toward a soft but firm core that's also transparent enough to happily collaborate with the Philadelphia Orchestra ... It's a sound that exudes confidence in its own personality — with power that somehow never lapses into ear-bursting loudness."
- David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Lest one doubt that a pipe organ can be popular: When the console was rolled out for the Poulenc concerto, the audience spontaneously applauded. The organist hadn't even stepped onto the stage yet."
- Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Now that the "beast" is reaching its first birthday, the Kimmel is celebrating with another organ marathon, tomorrow in Verizon Hall.

The festivities start at 11:30 a.m. with a family concert: organist Alan Morrison and Rodney Mack's Philadelphia Big Brass get together to play a program ranging from the back-and-forth volleys of Gabrieli to Rossini's Barber of Seville Overture to the "2001" movement from Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra to Bill Conti's Fanfare from Rocky. Tickets are $20.

The Organ Recital Marathon gets underway at 1 p.m. Four soloists will be taking turns at the console: Sean Jackson, Matthew Glandorf, Shelly Moorman-Stahlman and Wesley Parrott. The musical smorgasbord offers Bach, of course, and the French Romantics (Widor, Durufl_, Tournemire), but some surprises as well: William Walton's Crown Imperial March, for example, and Charles Ives's Variations on "America." Glandorf will play what he calls "A Series of Improvised Portraits" — a Praeludium in the Style of Dietrich Buxtehude, a Sonata in the Style of Edward Elgar, and a Symphonic Improvisation in French Style on the old Gregorian hymn "Veni Creator Spiritus."

Tickets for the Marathon are $20; a limited number of $10 rush tickets will be available tomorrow morning before the concert, beginning at 11:30 a.m. More information is available at www.kimmelcenter.org.


Recommended Reading:
 X

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting playbill.com with your ad blocker.
Thank you!