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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Friday, July 25, 2014

Onstage — Surrounded by Bach: Jonathan Schakal

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Posted: Friday, June 27, 2014 12:00 am

Organist Jonathan Schakal is the co-music director at a Presbyterian church in Charlottesville, Virginia, but he makes time to pursue a concert career apart from that, with recent recitals including appearances at St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh and the Engelse Kerk in Amsterdam. He earned his master’s degree in organ and early music from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and went on to study with such master organists as Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini and Olivier Latry. He takes his seat at the organ of First Presbyterian Church (208 Grant Ave.) for a half-hour concert at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 27. At the center of his program is a fine work rarely encountered: Herbert Howells’ 1940 composition Master Tallis’s Testament, a brief set of variations on a melancholic, modal theme that builds into an impressive climax sure to show off the church’s C.B. Fisk instrument at its most sizable registrations. Surrounding it are arrangements of music by Bach: Alexandre Guilmant’s transcription of the Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29 and Henri Messerer’s organ version of the celebrated Chaconne originally conceived for unaccompanied violin. Admission is free, though donations are welcome. For information, call 505-982-8544, Ext. 16.

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