Lucid Culture


Concert Review: Paolo Bordignon on the 1830 Appleton Organ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 2/4/09

An impressively diverse program on one of New York’s oldest functioning instruments. This time around the museum didn’t have a crew of volunteers manfully pumping the manual bellows, a telltale blower pipe trailing from the back of the cabinet to a rear storeroom. Noted New York organist Paolo Bordignon began his performance with a quaint couple of pieces, Giovanni Pescetti’s Sonata in C Minor for three movements and then Haydn’s Five Pieces for Musical Clocks, each a whimsical suite that served as a showcase for the organ’s flute registrations. Pachelbel’s Ciacona in D Minor brought some lower registrations to the continuing baroque mood. Then he brought in some artillery with three of the great French composer Louis Vierne’s 24 Pieces en Style Libre. The Preambule was a stark contrast, all airy, eerie ambience, followed by the gorgeously nocturnal Complainte and ending pretty much where he began with the Prelude. Finally, with a warmly robust take of Mendelssohn’s Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, he gave himself a chance to air out the organ and this proved very much worth the wait. This is obviously not an easy instrument to play, but Bordignon proved indomitable.


The Met’s occasional series of free afternoon concerts continues with a koto performance on March 4 at 3:30 PM. For anyone interested in future concerts on the Appleton Organ, it really is worth your while to come up past the musical instruments section and have a seat close by: the acoustics in the balcony across the way and on the gallery floor below are fine, although quieter passages may be drowned out by the occasional toddler whose parents neglected to find a babysitter or wait til their child is sufficiently mature to appreciate a museum.

February 4, 2009 - Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , ,

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