Mainstage Concerts

Celebrating Canada on The Casavant: Organ and Saxophone music by Canadian composer Jacobus Kloppers

Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. | Convocation Hall
Saxophonist, William H. Street, and organists, Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger, kick off Canada's 150th anniversary year with a selection of Canadian solo and duo works, including Celtic Impressions and From the Musical Memoirs of a Canadian Organist, and the premiere of Passage du Temps, all by renowned Edmonton-based composer, Jacobus Kloppers.

  • 1. Program

    PROGRAMME

    Marnie Giesbrecht, organ

    Celtic Impressions for Solo Organ (2003/04)    
    Jacobus Kloppers (b. 1937)
    I    Two Strathspeys
    II   Two Airs

    William Street, saxophone | Marnie Giesbrecht, organ
    Passage du Temps for Alto-Saxophone and Organ (2016)
    Jacobus Kloppers
    I    Passacaille et Fugue
    II   Passion et Pastoral
    III  Pas de Deux

     

    Intermission

     

    Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger, organists | Charles Stolte, narrator

    From the Musical Memoirs of a Canadian Organist for Organ Duet (1993)
    Jacobus Kloppers 
    I    Prelude for Morning Service
    II   Prelude for Evensong
    III  The Improvisational Genius confounded by Organ Gremlins
    IV  St. Anne
    V   Music for the Rite of Holy Matrimony
    VI  Three Faces of Christmas
    VII  Canadian Postlude (Nation in Recession)
  • 2. Bios

     Marnie Giesbrecht

    A passionate and versatile keyboard artist, Marnie Giesbrecht performs as organ soloist, with Joachim Segger as Duo Majoya, as choral accompanist/collaborator and chamber musician (organ, piano, harpsichord). She has performed in major cities and universities throughout Canada, the United States, South Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as at numerous regional, national and international festivals in North America and abroad. Dr. Giesbrecht is University Organist at the University of Alberta and Adjunct Professor of Music at The King’s University.

    Marnie Giesbrecht was educated at the University of Alberta, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. A fan of living composers as well as those gone before, she commissions, performs and records contemporary solo and duo keyboard works by Canadian and international composers. Artistic Director for the University of Alberta Noon Hour Organ Recital Series, she performs and presents students, former students and guest artists from near and far in an eclectic array of solo and collaborative organ music.

     

    Joachim Segger
    A versatile and consummate musician, Joachim Segger, performs regularly as soloist and collaborative artist. Segger studied at the University of Alberta and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, in addition to Eastman School of Music. Joachim Segger has performed throughout North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia. His solo piano CD, Bravato, includes works by Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Ginastera.

    As an organist, Joachim Segger is renowned as a clinician for his service playing and improvising. Dr. Segger is Professor and Chair of the Music Department at The King's University in Edmonton.

     

    Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger are Duo Majoya, the uniquely versatile and innovative keyboard team that has circled the globe performing keyboard duets of all combinations in North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia. The duo has performed a distinctive repertoire of commissioned, original and arranged works on community and university concert series, at conventions and international organ festivals. Commissions include more than twenty pieces for organ duet and organ/piano by Canadian and international composers. Duo Majoya records a broad range of piano and organ solo and duet repertoire on CDs and videos. For their individual careers and exceptional work as Duo Majoya the duo was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame in June, 2014 and awarded Honorary Fellowships of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in 2015.

     

    Described by Classical Music magazine as a musician of “dazzling commitment and versatility,” Charles Stolte enjoys a rich career as a saxophonist and composer. Reviews in the Chicago Tribune laud him as a “talented performer with glossy technique and bluesy charm,” and he enjoys frequent support from the Canadian provincial and national governments and from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for his composition projects and performance tours. Dr. Stolte is Associate Professor of Saxophone, Music History and Composition at The King's University and Instructor of Saxophone at MacEwan University Conservatory of Music, in Edmonton.

    William Street, saxophonist, has performed and lectured in Belgium, Canada, Federation of Russia, France, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine and the USA. He tours frequently with pianist Roger Admiral and the Quatuor International de Saxophones emphasizing the importance of both solo and chamber music making. 2016 chamber music performances were performed in Alberta (Edmonton, Red Deer, Camrose, Calgary, Lethbridge), as well as in the US mid-west in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Champaign, Illinois and Taiwan. Recent solo performances and lectures took place in San Jose, California as in well as in Bordeaux and Strasbourg, France. For four years, from 2009-2013, Bill served as Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta and from 2013-2015 he was Associate Dean of Humanities and the Arts at San Jose State University. In 2015, He was appointed Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alberta.

     

     
  • 3. Composers Notes

    COMPOSER NOTES 
    By Jacobus Kloppers


    I started composing in the 1960s as an organist steeped in the music of J.S. Bach, the Romantics and the neo-classic compositions of the 20th century. Harmony, counterpoint, classic structures and functional dissonance form the basis of my music, which can be described as Neo-tonal or Neo-Romantic. The majority of my works are written to be played in the church service but I also wrote some music for the concert hall such as the ones performed today.

    Celtic Impressions for Solo Organ (2003/04)

    This Celtic Suite for Organ was commissioned by Gayle Martin in 2003. It is based on a selection of Scottish folk music provided by her as well as my own impressions from visits to Scotland, its beauty and ruggedness, its music, energy, colour, a country full of memories of courage, struggle, joy and pain. I selected eight pieces to serve as themes for the four movements: two Strathspeys (Mvt. I), two Airs (Mvt. II), two Jigs (Mvt. III) and two Marching songs (Mvt. IV) as basis for the work. These materials, as well as the way they are traditionally performed, are naturally stylised in an organ idiom. The first two movements are performed today.

    The first movement’s main themes are loosely based on two reels (Strathspeys): Over the muir among the heather (origin unknown) and Mrs. Fordyce of Ayton’s Strathspey (by Robert Mackintosh, late 1700’s). The movement is in Sonata-form with a slow introduction and concludes with the two themes combined in a semi-contrapuntal manner. 

    Two Airs from the Southern Uplands, On Ettrick Banks (words from Ramsay’s “Tea-table Miscellany”, 1724; the Air, from the Orpheus Caledonius, 1725) and Ae Fond Kiss (famous poem of Robert Burns, 1792; melody, from a later period), inspired the slow movement, which is in a Rondo form. Both airs have a haunting quality of the bittersweet of love: On Ettrick Banks, of two lovers in the early evening glow on the banks of the Ettrick river envisioning a promising future; Ae fond kiss, of the painful parting of two lovers. 

    Passage du Temps for Alto-Saxophone and Organ (2016)

    When my esteemed colleagues, Drs. William Street and Marnie Giesbrecht, approached me with the request for a new piece for Alto-Saxophone and Organ, I thought of honoring them by creating a motif/theme with some reference to their names. I chose the first and last letter of their last names (G, S, T, T), transcribed into English, German and French letter names as g - E-flat - B - b. This motif, especially the interval of the falling or rising major third/diminished fourth or expanded as an augmented chord, is heard directly or in an oblique way in all three movements. In the first movement, Passacaglia and Fugue, the four-note motif is expanded into a twelve-tone theme, though treated in a tonal fashion. In the second movement it has a more lyrical character; in the last, it appears as a more figurative theme with cluster chords.

    The title, Passage du Temps, is not so much a reference to music as a time art, but a homage to some of the great compositional devices and styles since 1700 to which I feel indebted. From the contrapuntal techniques by Bach in I, the quasi-ostinati accompanying a cantilene by Vivaldi and Bach (II, main theme), the French Romantic organ genre pieces (II, middle section) to the more “edgy” neo-Classic style of the early 20th century.

    Suite From the Musical Memoirs of a Canadian Organist for Organ Duet (1993)

    This Duet Suite for Organ was commissioned by CBC for Joachim Segger and Marnie Giesbrecht 1993, premiered at the New Music Festival in Edmonton 1994 and included in the performers’ CD Dancing Ice, 1994. Since there was a request by the performers to include some Canadian content, I decided on: 

    1) Depicting elements from my experience as church organist dating from almost four decades (though they are things all organists experience), i.e. playing for morning and evening services, for Christmas and weddings (including the dilemma to choose wedding music), dealing with the question of traditional music versus the modern praise bands in church; also portraying, with some humor, the sudden pitfalls an organist may experience such as a stuck note on the organ or a reed pitch out of tune.

    2) Reflecting, tongue-in-cheek, some of the themes that Canadians struggled with in 1993, namely a national recession, the question of Canadian identity and possible separation of Quebec, but, on the bright side, the success of ice hockey and the Maple Leafs winning the Baseball World Series. Various musical quotes from O Canada (Owe Canada), God Save the Queen, the French National Anthem as well as crowd cheerleading motives from the electronic organ at ice hockey arenas are heard as sort of light-hearted Leitmotifs. All of these are heard in the final movement called Postlude as a Toccata, followed by a Canadian Fugue in three sections.

  • 4. Media