Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA
Year of commission 1997
Opus 90 - AGO Convention Recital. 2002.
The 2002 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists was held from July 2 through July 6 in Philadelphia, PA. The highlight of the convention was hearing Cherry Rhodes play Opus 90 in recital.
Cherry Rhodes is an internationally known artist. She was the first American to win an international competition. Ms. Rhodes has given recitals throughout Europe and the United States and often premiered new works for organ.
The recital opened with J.S. Bach’s Pastorale in F Major. This charming piece was effortlessly played, but those who were at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran the previous week knew how much time Ms. Rhodes spent choosing just the right flute stops.
Many convention participants had never heard a live performance of the next piece: Jean Guillou’s Scènes d’Enfant d’après ‘The Turn of the Screw’ d’Henry James (Scenes of a Child, inspired by Henry James’ literary work). Meditations on “Salve Festa Dies” by Fr. Marius Walter was soft and gentle, yet joyful, and was a stark contrast to the previous piece. Fr. Walter adapted these two meditations for a solo performance from his larger work, which was originally composed for two organs. The original work was composed for the dedication of the Mount Angel Abbey organs (Martin Ott’s Opus 79 & 80) and was first premiered by Cherry Rhodes and her husband Ladd Thomas.
Her final selection was Variations on “Victimae Paschali Laudes” by Jiri Ropek. The Gregorian chant is first presented in a modal harmonization, followed by eight variations. Ms. Rhodes’ performance made this work sound as if it was written just for Opus 90, although the piece was actually composed in 1963. (A CD was recorded during the live performance.)
51 stops | 69 ranks | 3 extensions
Mechanical key action | Electric stop action