Daniel Stipe in Recital at VTS on Sunday, February 10

Music, Liturgy, and the Arts at Virginia Theological Seminary presents Daniel Stipe in recital in Immanuel Chapel at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 10th. Mr. Stipe, whose broad array of abilities lends a rare depth of understanding and exhilaration to his music-making, will play half of his recital on the Taylor and Boody organ and half on the historic Steinway piano.

Daniel Stipe is equally at home as a solo recitalist, collaborator and arranger on both the piano and the organ. His large and varied concert repertory, with special focus on works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, continues to delight audiences nationwide. He is a prizewinner in the William Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio (where he also garnered the Hymn-playing Prize), the Tulsa Crescendo Music Awards, the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition, and the AGO/Quimby Region VII Competition for Young Organists. He will appear in recital at the 2020 national conference for the Association of Anglican Musicians.

The theme for the recital is “Night” which provides for some interesting and exciting repertoire. Playing the first half on the piano, Mr. Stipe begins with the Ballade No. 1 in g minor by Frederic Chopin, a Polish composer who wrote primarily for solo piano. The Ballade, written in 1836 was dedicated to one of Chopin’s friends at the time, Baron Nathaniel Stockhausen, ambassador of the Kingdom of Hanover. Both the Baron and his wife took piano lessons from Chopin. The Ballade is followed by a short Nocturne by John Field, an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher who influenced many major composers, including Chopin, Brahms, and Liszt. Field wrote a set of eighteen Nocturnes. These works were some of the most influential music of the early Romantic period. These pieces were admired by Frederic Chopin who subsequently made the piano nocturne famous. Continuing the Night theme is the Nocturne, Op. 33 (homage to John Field) by Samuel Barber. Written in 1959, Barber’s Nocturne is a short work much like Chopin’s Nocturnes but is definitely a product of the 20th century with its chromaticisms. Closing out the piano portion of the recital is Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Clair de Lune is a French poem written by Paul Verlaine in 1869. It is the inspiration for the third and most famous movement of Debussy’s 1890 Suite Bergamasque. 

Louis Vierne is considered to be one of the greatest organ symphonists of the early twentieth century. In the last period of his life, he completed a cycle of descriptive music, titled Pièces de Fantaisie. This cycle contains twenty four pieces, and four of them can be heard on this recital. Clair de luneis one of the more popular pieces from this cycle. The inspiration is possibly derived from a poem by Paul Verlaine (1844–1896), and has a similar structure to the composition by Debussy. While the Clair de lune was inspired from a specific text, Naiades was inspired by an image, or water nymphs from Greek mythology. Vierne depicts the running water through rapid scale figures. Fantomes is a unique concert piece within this cycle. He uses extreme chromaticism that it is very reminiscent of works by Olivier Messiaen. Another specific feature that separates this piece, is that Vierne assigns narration throughout the piece. Toccata is reminiscent of the traditional musical forms from earlier periods in music. A toccata was meant to show off the virtuosity of the performer. Vierne uses strong chromatic sequences and non-resolved dissonance throughout this piece. 

Also featured in the organ portion of the program are two nocturnes, one by William Albright and the other by Germaine Tailleferre. Both pieces are quiet, lyrical and introverted evocations of the cloak of night. The Albright is more mysterious, and the Tailleferre is sweeter. The Tailleferre is originally a piece for string ensemble, transcribed for organ; the Albright is from Organbook iii. William Albright was an American composer and organist who studied abroad with Olivier Messiaen and was on the faculty of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Germaine Tailleferre was a French composer and was the only female member of the group of composers known as Les Six.

There is no charge for this exciting program but we appreciate your responding through this Eventbrite link: https://daniel-stipe-in-recital.eventbrite.com

A reception in the VTS Welcome Center will follow the recital.