By Edward Kliszus
This event of Kent Tritle in Concert honored a gifted musical artist of epic importance to the world of performing arts in New York and beyond. Tritle’s ubiquitous, multi-dimensional contributions emanate from his work as a virtuoso solo organist. He is also an organist of the New York Philharmonic, choral conductor, and director of both Musica Sacra and the Oratorio Society of New York. He indeed serves as organist and Director of Music for the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
Grandeur and Timelessness
Tonight Kent Tritle performed on the organ at the magnificent Cathedral of St. John the Divine, undeniably treating a large audience to three of the finest works of the organ canon. Tritle emphatically commanded the Cathedral’s organ producing sounds felt as often as heard. We subsequently absorbed opulent, heavenly sound reverberations of grandeur and timelessness in this magnificent space.
The recital began with J.S. Bach’s Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542. The challenges of this piece exemplified Tritle’s virtuosic technique, dexterity, control, and independence of hands and feet. Without a doubt, Tritle exemplified the means to navigate complex counterpoint and polyphony. Tritle’s masterful performance definitely displayed these elements and more, expressing the work’s beauty and drama through his virtuosic, informed choices of stops.
Majestic, Triumphant Fanfare
Kent Tritle in Concert next performed David Hurd’s Partita on Detroit (1992), a five-movement work crafted as a tribute to Detroit, Michigan’s musical heritage, including jazz and blues idioms. The piece certainly explored aspects of the hymn tune Come, Labor On, providing a means for Tritle to display his mastery of jaunty, syncopated dance rhythms leading to a majestic, triumphant fanfare and denouement.
Inscrutable Spiritual Yearnings
César Franck’s Chorale No. 3 in A Minor completed Tritle’s program with its rich harmonies and expressions of exultant, devotional, and seemingly inscrutable spiritual yearnings. We experienced intricate counterpoint, florid figurations in the manuals, and profound means to display the full power of the organ. Tritle emphatically portrayed Franck’s intellect and the blinding musical radiance of the nonpareil Tritle.
Ken Tritle in Concert! Bravo, Maestro!
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street)
New York, NY 10025
Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Light of Paradise with Kent Tritle, the American Classical Orchestra presents Healing Bach, MasterVoices performs at Central Synagogue, and Drinking in America.;