Here’s a name to take note of: Ken Cowan. Wherever the Canadian organist appears, he inspires his audience to thunderous applause. For the 44-year-old, technical difficulties simply do not seem to exist when he flies over the keys in Franz Liszt’s Mephisto waltz with breathtaking virtuosity. But Ken Cowan’s musicianship is not limited to keyboard acrobatics. He is a sensitive and serious artist who is also able to delight his audience with quiet works. Ken Cowan learned his trade at two of the most prestigious music schools in the United States: the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in New Haven. For today’s organ matinee, he is joined by Noah Bendix-Balgley who has been 1st concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker for four years. Although the organ and the violin do not have much in common at first glance, both instruments are able in a particular way to make music sound almost like singing. This is shown by Ken Cowan and Noah Bendix-Balgley in Sergei Rachmaninov’s famous Vocalise and Sigfrid Karg-Elert’s intimate Pastorale. Of course, our North-American guest also presents himself as a solo artist with compositions by Franz Liszt, Marcel Dupré and Camille Saint-Saëns. The matinee closes with Maurice Ravel’s famous rhapsody Tzigane, notorious for it technical difficulties, in an arrangement for violin and organ. Listen and be astounded.
- Ken Cowan
- Noah Bendix-Balgley
Rákóczi March (arranged for organ by George Baker after the piano version of Vladimir Horowitz)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Sonata in C minor, BWV 1017 (arranged for violin and organ by Ken Cowan)
Mephisto Waltz (arranged for organ by Ken Cowan)
Vocalise, op. 34 No. 14 (arranged for violin and organ by Ken Cowan)
Prelude and Fugue in C major, op. 36 No. 3
Pastorale for Violin and Organ, op. 48b No. 2
Danse macabre, op. 40 (arranged for organ by Ken Cowan)
Tzigane (arranged for violin and organ by Ken Cowan)
Introduction 10 a.m.