Coming up: New sounds from an ancient instrument


The last time The Wife and I were in Montreal, hungry for live music, we made our way to McGill University for the concluding concert of a weekend organ symposium. (Who just said “wow, you must have been desperate?”)  The performer (also composer), Hans-Ola Ericsson, though unknown to us, was evidently quite an eminence in the somewhat circumscribed world of “the king of instruments,” as it was known back in the day.  Who is this Ericsson?  You can check out his vitals on the above link, none of which prepared us for the onslaught of original, remarkable, unearthly, otherworldly, awe-inspiring and at times, pretty close to deafening sounds that emerged from the magnificent McGill organ and an array of powerful loudspeakers set up around the hall that Sunday evening.  In other words, not your basic E. Power Biggs recital.

I don’t suspect there’ll be anything quite so roof-raising when Hans-Ola Ericsson performs this Sunday afternoon  at 3:00, on the lovely Richards & Fowkes organ (Op. 10, for you organ geeks) of the First Church of Deerfield.  It’s a smaller gem of an instrument, befitting the intimate space of the “Brick Church.”  But in addition to works by the Bachs, J.S., W.F. and C.P.E., Mr. Ericsson will include selections by two progenitors of musical minimalism, John Cage and Erik Satie.  It should be a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal to a special instrument and a brilliant performer.  See you there?

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