Orgelfest16 opener showcases masterful playing of Frederick Swann
Portland is one of the 85-year-old organist’s last stops before he ends touring.
He also gave a masterly account of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in G (BWV 541), notable for both the vigor he brought to the Prelude and the textural transparency with which he illuminated the fugue.Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald
On the Kotzschmar, a local organist whose star is rising
Katelyn Emerson of York plays a program on ‘War and Peace’ at Orgelfest.
…transcriptions for organ are not always successful, even on the Kotzschmar. Making them work has less to do with the organ’s timbral palette than with the players’ fingers and imagination. That Emerson could make so much of these transcriptions, this early in her career, is heartening. It should be fascinating to see where she goes from here.Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald
Organist Ray Cornils delivers power of many kinds
The municipal organist shined on light-hearted works from Rawsthorne and Langlais.
But Cornils was at his best in music that depended less on overwhelming sonic grandeur and more on light-spirited humor. He was clearly in his element in the “Line Dance” movement from Noel Rawsthorne’s “Dance Suite” (1997)…And the “Cats” Scherzo from Jean Langlais’ “American Suite” (1959) let him show off his fleetness and entertaining interpretive sensibility as he scampered, with cat-like tread, up, down and across the manuals.Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald