Originally published in the June 2017 OSCAR.
For the last concert of the 2016-2017 Music at Trinity concert series on Saturday, June 17, 2017, I have decided to feature Trinity’s Casavant organ, to mark the instrument’s anniversary of dedication. I will perform an organ recital with a carefully chosen programme that will explore the wonderful colors this lovely instrument has to offer.
The organ at Trinty Anglican Church was built in 1963 by Casavant Frères Limited of Ste- Hyacinthe, Québec. The specifications of this instrument were drawn up by Mr. Raymond L. Barnes, the Ottawa representative of Casavant in consultation with the company’s tonal director Lawrence Phelps. The organ has been designed for voicing the pipes on low wind pressures to closely duplicate the true organ tones of the organs built during the 17th and 18th centuries. This instrument is a fine example of the “neo-classic” organs that were produced when Phelps served as tonal director at Casavant. The two-manual organ at Trinity has 22 stops using 28 ranks for a total of 1616 pipes. The chancel of the church has been extensively modified to display the new organ in the three arches, thus enhancing the classical design by allowing full release of tone while revealing the functional beauty of the handmade pipes. This organ was dedicated on June 16, 1963 to the Glory of God in memory of those members of the armed forces who gave their lives for their country. It replaced the 21 rank instrument which was destroyed in the church fire of March 1947.
The programme will include works by J.S Bach, Joseph Jongen and Canadian composer Gerald Bales. Although this particular instrument is better suited for music that was composed in the 17th and 18th centuries, one can certainly play works that have been composed later. I could certainly not miss an opportunity to play some of Bach’s organ compositions since they are well suited for this instrument. I have chosen to include a lovely impressionistic piece by Joseph Jongen entitled Chant de May. It is was important to me as we approach Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, to include music from the Canadian composer Gerald Bales who taught several years at the University of Ottawa. I will perform Gerald Bales’ Petite Suite composed in 1963, the same year the organ at Trinity was dedicated.
This concert will be presented on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 4:30 pm at Trinity Anglican Church (1230 Bank Street at Cameron). Admission is by freewill offering. Proceeds will go to support the musical activities at Trinity Anglican Church and in support of the Christ Church Cathedral Men and Boys’ 2017 UK Tour.
Fabien Tousignant is the Artistic Director at Trinity Anglican Church.