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September 12, 2002
Vol. II, No. 35


"September 11, 2002"
My intention had been to stay home all day with the covers pulled up over my head. Fortunately, I was needed at the church to provide intermittent organ music beginning at 10:15am, leading up to an 11:30 service. The doors of the church were opened so passersby could come in and use the church for reflection.

Mayor Bloomberg had asked churches to ring their bells at 10:29 so from 10:15-10:28 I played Pachelbel's Fantasy in G Minor and Bach's Fugue in B Minor (BWV 579). Then, at 10:29 I played four low As on the Chimes, spaced 15 seconds apart. After a pause, I continued with "Elegy for Freedom" and its companion piece, "The Response." Bach being my composer of choice, I then proceeded with:

Fantasy in C Major (BWV 570)
"Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (BWV 639)
Fugue in G Minor (BWV 578)
Prelude and Fugue in A Minor (BWV 543)
Adagio in A Minor, including the C Major transition from the Toccata, Adagio & Fugue (BWV 564)
Prelude in C Major (BWV 943)

As a prelude to the service, I played Pachelbel's Chaconne in F Minor. I normally begin pp, gradually crescendoing to ff over the course of the piece, dropping back to pp for the ending which is basically a repeat of the opening eight bars. As I played it this time, though, I found a couple of spots that were reminiscent of the opening bars so I dropped back to pp at those points and then started building again. I thought this worked well because it kept the piece from getting too loud, too soon. When I got toward the end, I realized I was ahead of schedule for the start of the service and would have to make up the shortfall with some improv. However, as I released the final pp chord of the Chaconne, I heard the distant wail of fire trucks coming down Lexington Avenue. How appropriate. I let them have their say and then improvised ppp the remaining minute.
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Have a good week!


Dan Long
Editor, BACHorgan.com


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