The Joy of Modern & Traditional Music

            Our little corner of the World is a quiet one. We have many opportunities to savor live performances of wonderful music. While those concerts would probably not demand the attention of those hungry for elite spectacles, I enjoy an hour or two of carefully chosen music competently prepared for our listening pleasure. Those who gathered at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Carmel on Sunday, August 18, 2019 experienced a lovely afternoon of music. Cortez Montalbo, trumpet and Steve Denmark, organ shared with us their Joy of Modern & Traditional Music. Dr. Denmark did double duty by accompanying on the piano as well as the organ. Mr. Montalbo used a collection of three instruments, cornet and two trumpets (B-flat and C) to play a variety of compositions.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Brass, Organ


CBF 2019: All Bach Organ Concert

Andrew Arthur

             We are blessed in our little corner of paradise by Carmel Bay. We have many iconic places people come from all over the world to see. We get to enjoy them frequently. Our experience can be very personal. I always feel the history when I visit Carmel Mission Basilica, especially when the organ is heard. I have a very special place in my heart for Opus 3612 built by Casavant Frères and installed in 1986. As part of the Carmel Bach Festival, Andrew Arthur plays All Bach Organ Recitals. I attended the brief concert just before Noon on Monday, July 22, 2019. 

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Organ


Organist Ethan Haman at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salinas.

Ethan Haman

            Each Friday at Noon St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salinas, CA, opens its doors to the community at large. The organ is featured in these short concerts. There is no admission charge, but donations are accepted to help maintain the organ and support visiting organists. The organ, Opus 1243, was built by Aeolian Skinner and installed in 1951. It has served the congregation well each Sunday and Feast Day, assisted in community celebrations like weddings and funerals, and entertained and enlightened music lovers. Area organist, Dr. Steve Denmark, usually brings the pipes to life. He enjoys inviting other musicians to play. Last Friday, July 19, 2019, we were treated to an extended recital by returning organist Ethan Haman. When last we heard him play, he was just starting out on his post-Secondary education. I remember hearing that he feels the organ is, “a magnificent instrument” and he “wants to help a new generation see that it is for anything you can play, whether Chinese pop songs or American marches.” 

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Organ


King’s Trumpeter — Carmel Bach Festival 2019 Comes to Life

State Trumpeters

            The trumpet has sounded! Let the Festival begin! With a Pre-Festival recital on Monday, July 8, 2019 at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, the 2019 Carmel Bach Festival is underway. Andrew Arthur and Robert Farley presented an excellent collection of music for trumpet and organ. The focus was on music written during the Restoration Period of English history. Initiated by Henry V and continued until Queen Victoria, the post of King’s Trumpeter inspired great music. This reviewer has often played pieces from this era for wedding music.

            The pews at St. Dunstan’s were comfortably full. The Dobson organ is a striking instrument well designed for the building and well suited to the compositions. Andrew Arthur shared his mastery of both the instrument and literature of the Early English music. Robert Farley played a beautiful reproduction of a J. L Ehe II Baroque Trumpet. In his hands, the instrument brought the music to life. I appreciated reading the thorough program notes. One can learn much by listening to recordings and reading, but to actually experience the music performed is to truly understand.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Organ


Recital by Organist Vlada Volkova-Moran in Aptos

Vlada Volkova-Moran

On Sunday afternoon, May 26, we had the opportunity to hear an all-Bach program inaugurating the recently installed tracker organ at the Episcopal Church of St John the Baptist in Aptos. Performing on this occasion was organist Vlada Volkova-Moran, who is also a distinguished Russian-trained pianist and teacher residing in Santa Cruz.

The two-manual tracker organ was built near Boston c. 1869 and was originally installed in a church in Marysville. The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist purchased the organ for one dollar, and then spent $100,000 to have it dismantled, packed up and shipped to Aptos, where it was then restored, installed and finely adjusted for its new home.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Organ