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Cycle of Master Organ Concerts in the Focus-Abengoa Foundation

February 15, 2006

  • On February 14, 21 and 28, three master organ concerts will be given as part of the cycle entitled Three grand 20th century organists: J. Langlais, J Alain and O. Messiaen.
  • In addition, on February 25, 26 and 27, the Master Organ Course for organ players and students of the organ from all over Spain will be given by Olivier Latry, who is considered to be the ambassador of French organ music (17th to 20th century).

Seville, February 14, 2006: The Focus-Abengoa Foundation presents its cycle of master organ concerts for the month of February which, this year, will focus on three grand 20th century French composers and which will be given by three young French organists of renowned prestige in the music world. As in previous years, the organ, built in 1991 by the prestigious German organ maker Gerhard Grenzing, upon request by the Foundation, for the Church of los Venerables, is the centerpiece of the Foundation’s music program.

The new 2005-2006 season commenced with the Recitals by Inexperienced Organists, given by three young Spanish organists who gave three concerts under the title “The organ in the large European cities of the Baroque period” which coincided with the seminar organized by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation entitled “European Capitals. The Baroque moment”.

Since last December, Didactic Recitals are being given, an initiative with which the Focus-Abengoa Foundation is utilizing to bring organ music closer to second cycle students at Compulsory Secondary Education Level (ESO) at all the colleges and institutes that request it. In this manner, the Foundation is trying to collaborate in adolescent musical education, through the recitals that are accompanied by explanations that help the students to get a better understanding of the music. The favorable reception of the initiative, with requests being received even from other localities, has compelled the Foundation to extend the course.

February will see the commencement of the Cycle of Master Concerts which will extend to the 28th. This year, three master concerts will be given as part of the cycle entitled Three grand 20th century organists: J. Langlais, J. Alain and O. Messiaen, by their best exponents.

All the concerts commence at 20:30 hours in the Church of the Hospital de los Venerables at the Focus-Abengoa Foundation’s headquarters.

In addition, of note is the Master Organ Course for organ players and students of the organ from all over Spain, which will be given on February 25, 26 and 27 by Olivier Latry, considered to be the ambassador of French organ music (17th to 20th century) and who is currently one of the most outstanding “improvisers of the French tradition from Charles Tournemire through to Pierre Cochereau”.

The enrollment period for this course is open until February 24, 2006. The timetable for the course will be from 11:00 to 13:00 hours and from 17:00 to 19:00 hours. At the end of the course, an accreditation diploma will be presented to each participant.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was established in 1982 as a consequence of the cultural activity initiated in 1972 by Abengoa with the publishing of the works "Sevillian Topics" and "Iconography of Seville". During this same period a collection of documents, books and prints on Seville, or by Sevillian authors, was being put together. This initial cultural activity brought Abengoa's senior management to see the importance of the company being seen outside its essential technological functions through an activity that would be of benefit to society as a whole, which led to the founding of the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla.


Tuesday, February 14, at 20:30 hours. Master Organ Concert by Marie-Luise Langlais.

Marie-Luise Langlais discovered the organ when she was still only a very young girl and joined Jean Langlais’s class at Paris’ Schola Cantorum, where she obtained her final Diploma for Virtuosity and Improvisation. Her marriage to Jean Langlais, in 1979, would definitively link her musical activity to that of the master. She became his assistant on the organ at Sta. Clotilde and chose, precisely, for her Musicology Doctorate Thesis, the life and work of her husband; a study that was awarded, in 1999, the Institute of France Prize. The participation of Madame Langlais, who for twelve years was his confident and faithful companion, the eyes and ears of her husband and his most fervent admirer, in this Cycle, is for us the best guarantee of a performance in perfect harmony with the intentionality of the master.

Tuesday, February 21, at 20:30 hours. Master Organ Concert by Marie-Claire Alain.

Marie-Claire Alain, younger sister of Jehan, is an exceptional performer of both baroque and romanticism and has always been renowned for her clarity of execution, the perfection of her recordings and her great musicality. “The First Lady of the Organ” as she is known in the United States, Doctor Honoris Causa by several Universities, and devoted to her brother Jehan, whose music she has proudly played worldwide, will be who will provide us with the musical essences of one who is honored in France and one of the grand figures of French organ music of the 20th century.

February 25, 26 and 27: Master Organ Course given by Olivier Latry.

Olivier Messiaen, this extremely important composer, a student of Marcel Dufré and Paul Dukas, represents geniality, both for his non-conformist nature and for the originality with which he merged the organ musical language with the expression of his Catholic Faith. This results in his music being of an absolutely personal rhythmic elaboration and sonorous harmony.

Over the three-day course, the master, Olivier Latry, the favorite student of Messiaen himself, will go into his master’s personality in depth in order to draw us closer to one of the most renowned, performed and recorded composers of the 20th century.

Tuesday, February 28, at 20:30 hours: Master Organ Concert by Olivier Latry.

Titular organist of Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, one of the grand organists of our time, and favorite student of the master Olivier Messiaen.

He combines incessant and magnificent performances in over forty countries to-date with numerous recordings by composers as disparate as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Widor, Duruflé, or his masters Glitaize and Messiaen. With no wish to mold himself into playing a specific repertoire, and by playing music from all the European organ eras and schools, Olivier Latry is the best performer of French 17th to 20th century organ music: a task he lavishes together with the traditional art of improvisation to the organ, of which Latry is currently one of its most brilliant performers.

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