On the third leg of our holiday trip T and I visited my parents and my brother and his new wife in North Texas. The day after Christmas my brother took us down to the church where he’s been slowly rising to musical power as sometimes organist, sometimes music instructor.
There he gave us a tour and demonstration of the organ, including pieces ranging from the traditional but always chic Johann Sebastian Bach to the modern and astonishingly complex Marcel Dupre, namely the Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 7.
What an experience! I got tears in my eyes more than once while listening to him play, and I grow tight in the chest even now thinking about some of those chords and textures.
Ethan warned us beforehand that the Dupre was notoriously difficult and he’d only been through the piece a couple of times, but WOW. Long thunderous bass tones atop shifting, glittering textures in all the colors of a prism. Kind of like the feeling I got walking inside La Sagrada Familia, if harmonies could be shaped into walls and columns.
T and I stood on either side of Ethan acting as his page-turners (and page-hold-downers). Missed notes be damned, I felt like we’d been through a war together when he’d finished playing!