David Hatt presented an organ recital on October 27 at St Dunstans Church This was such an interesting and very musical concert, with the organ starring, as it always does. It is a beautiful instrument both in sound and sight, and David Hatt masterfully presented so many of it’s colors. He played Baroque and modern pieces that evoked a great variety of dimensions in a presentation called “From Logic to Dreams.” In the logic part of the program we heard Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, and Max Reger, all played with splendid registrations.
In the Buxtehude Ciaccona in C, BuxWV 159, Hatt began with softly subtle flutes, then gradually ascended to fuller organ registrations. It is a work filled with beautiful harmonies, and he presented it well. I love that his wonderful pedal work was done in stocking feet.
The Bach was an interesting choice. It was a fugue composed on a theme of Legrenzi, BWV 574a. It had whimsical short-noted theme that began somewhat quietly and grew in intensity to a very full organ and ending in a Picardy third. What a great choice to play a little known work of Bach’s with the theme clearly displayed throughout.
Max Reger’s Prelude and fugue in G Major, Opus 85 #2, was, for me, the highlight of the program. It is a masterful and brilliant piece. Organist Hatt allowed us to hear Reger on this Dobbs organ as a marvel in balance of colors and rhythms. The textures in the Reger provide wondrous contrasts, and the chordal writing danced in his hands as it grew in intensity and volume. He is truly a “Regermeister.”
The second half of the program largely consisted of his own compositions, with the exception of Deux Preludes Profanes by Johan Alain, a French composer who lived from 1911 to 1940 The piece is modern, but has a clear melodic structure over complex chords in the left hand. He played it so well that even first time listeners enjoyed it enormously
David Hatt studied composition with Barney Childs at the University of Redlands, Ca. His sophistication in organ composition is both joyful and discordant, so the audience received a full rendering of modern organ music. For me, it was a musical landscape of thick and marvelous sounds. I especially enjoyed his piece, “Variations on Pisgah,” which took bluegrass themed music to a new level. Because of enthusiastic audience applause he did an encore, which was a pedal solo. His musical and smooth pedal technique is truly extraordinary.
Next in the St Dunstans series is Angela Kraft-Cross on December 9th. She too loves Reger, so come and enjoy. This series is a value at $20 per ticket and includes a lovely reception.This time the reception began at 5:00 with the concert following at 6:00.