Concert Program, 21 October 2000
Jan Overduin and Donald Knuth
Benton Street Baptist Church, Waterloo, Ontario
- A fancy for two to play, by Thomas Tomkins (1571--1656)
This piece is the earliest known work for two performers at one keyboard.
Originally written to be played on a virginal, it is perhaps even more
delightful when played on a pipe organ. Indeed, Tomkins may well have done
so himself, because he was organist at the Chapel Royal in London as well as
at Worcester Cathedral.
- Suite for two keyboards, by George Frideric Handel (1685--1759)
- I. Allemande (Andante); II. Courante (Allegro); III. Sarabande
(Moderato: cantando e piano sempre); IV. Chaconne (Vivace)
Handel's suite, written about 1720, had to be reconstructed in 1950 by
Thurston Dart because the manuscript for one of the two original parts
was not preserved. The reconstructed portion is being played tonight
on a smaller organ.
- Schafe können sicher weiden (BVW 208/5), by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685--1750)
One of Bach's most popular melodies, ``Sheep may safely graze,'' is often
performed on the organ, although it was originally written for orchestra as
part of a ``birthday cantata'' in 1713. A single organist cannot cope with
all of the notes that Bach wrote, so Donald Knuth transcribed the original
orchestral parts for organ duet in 1975.
- Adagio für die Flötenuhr (WoO 33/1), by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770--1827)
- Adagio assai
Beethoven composed several pieces for a mechanical clock-organ in 1799;
the first of these is the Adagio being played tonight. One cannot hear
all the notes of this piece unless it is played either by a machine or
by two human organists. We are attempting the latter alternative.
- Introduction und Fuge d-moll (Op. 62), by Franz Lachner (1803--1890)
- Adagio; Allegro moderato
On the evening of 3 June 1828, Franz Lachner and his friend Franz Schubert
decided to compose fugues that they could play together on the famous organ in
Heiligenkreuz, near Vienna. They finished their fugues about midnight, and
rose early the next day to perform them for several of the resident monks.
- Fuge e-moll (Op. Posth. 152, D.V. 952), by Franz Schubert (1797--1828)
- Moderato; played twice (with players switching sides)
This fugue by Schubert was written simultaneously with Lachner's;
listeners can decide which they prefer. Although Lachner was organist
at the Evangelical Church in Vienna, Schubert was comparatively unfamiliar
with the pipe organ, and the present piece is his only known work
for that instrument.
- Fantasie für Orgel c-moll (Op. 35), by Adolph Friedrich Hesse (1809--1863)
- Adagio; Andante grazioso; Allegretto
Adolph Hesse, organist at the church of the Bernhardins in Breslau, Germany
(now the city of Wroclaw, Poland), was the man who introduced Bach's organ
fugues to France, when he played the inaugural recital for a new organ
at St. Eustache, Paris, in 1844. His two organ fantasies are among the most
well known and frequently recorded organ duets of the nineteenth century.
- Quick March, by Horatio Parker (1863--1919)
The first American organ duet was this ebullient piece composed by
Horatio Parker when he was an 18-year-old organist in Dedham, Massachusetts.
Parker went on to found the Department of Music at Yale University in 1894.
- Chanson, by Robert Cundick (1926--)
Organ duets had become largely forgotten during the early part of the 20th
century, but they became increasingly popular during the 1980s.
Robert N. Cundick, former organist at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake
City, published several such duets in 1991, including this poignant song.
- Toot Suite (S. 212°), by P. D. Q. Bach (1807--1742)?
- I. Preloud (Moderato); II. O.K. Chorale (Andante); III. Fuga Vulgaris (Andante)
J. S. Bach gave his last child three initials instead of a name, because
his previous 20 children had already used up all possible names.
P. D. Q. spent his reclining years in Baden-Baden-Baden, where he composed
this unusually representative suite for steam calliope. After the
final movement had been recorded by the great four-handed organist
Emmanuel Pedal in 1967, the entire suite was unearthed by Peter Schickele
in 1972. Tonight's performance uses a special toot stop
first used at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, designed specifically
for this piece by Edward Millington Stout III of Hayward, California.
- Desire (a ricercare),
by Stephen A. Malinowski (1953--)
- Very slow
Stephen Malinowski composed this yet-unpublished piece in 1980, and sent
a copy to Donald Knuth as an Easter present in 1997. Malinowski is an amateur
musician who does computer-related work for a small California company called
InnoSys. His hobby is the creation of animated visualizations of music.
- Walzer zu vier Füssen, by Johann Strauss (1825--1899)
- Andantino (Introduktion; Rosen aus dem Süden; Zigeunerbaron; Fledermaus)
At most one player usually controls the pedals in an organ duet, because there
is little room on the pedalboard. But Johannes Matthias Michel published
this delightful arrangement of some favorite Strauss waltzes in 1990,
to be played only on the pedals --- using four feet.