Author Topic: Organist Wins a Grammy!  (Read 2311 times)

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Steve Best

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Organist Wins a Grammy!
« on: February 14, 2011, 11:34:44 PM »
What a joy to report that Paul Jacobs, chair of the organ department at the Juilliard School in New York City and a renowned concert artist, received a Grammy Award at last night's ceremonies in Los Angeles for his CD of Olivier Messiaen's "Livre du Saint-Sacrement" on the Naxos label. 

Mr. Jacobs' award was in the "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)".  Other nominees were:

Chopin: The Nocturnes
Nelson Freire
[Decca]

Hamelin: Études
Marc-André Hamelin
[Hyperion Records]

Paganini: 24 Caprices
Julia Fischer
[Decca]

20th Century Harp Sonatas
Sarah Schuster Ericsson
[Dorian Sono Luminus]

It appears that Mr. Jacobs is the first organist to win a Grammy for a solo recording, although E. Power Biggs, the Edward Tarr Brass Ensemble, and Vittorio Negri won a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance in 1968 for "Glory Of Gabrieli Vol. II - Canzonas For Brass, Winds, Strings And Organ."   

Messiaen's "Livre du Saint-Sacrement" is not for the faint of heart. Composed in 1984, it's a collection of 18 pieces which lasts almost two hours.  The score is costly:  almost $100.00 US.  Most of us will never own it or ever play even parts of it.  In a 2008 review in "The Guardian," Andrew  Clements wrote that "it should be sampled in smaller quantities to appreciate the power of the best of the organ writing. Bonaventure."  To put it in another more personal context: one of my students who performed part of the work has yet to be able to listen to the work in its entirety.  Therefore, Mr. Jacobs' achievement seems all the more remarkable.

Paul Jacobs is truly a musical phenomenon: he brings out the best of the organ and its music without resorting to artifice or gimmickry; he is the picture of graciousness and humility; he is idolized by his students at Juilliard and in other places where he is guest clinician; he is a gentleman who radiates class without ever seeming the least bit self-important.  Aware that his achievements bring extraordinary recognition to the "King of Instruments," I rejoice in his having won so prestigious an award.

Steve Best in Utica, NY


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Re: Organist Wins a Grammy!
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 03:41:26 AM »
I didn't have the patience to sit through the whole thing so only "tuned through" and caught a few bits and pieces of the telecast... Especially as the local Classical music station would be airing its one-hour program "The Organ Loft" at 2200 local time... (more on that program in another subject area ;D

But Google delivered an interesting link into my "inbox" today...

http://newsroom.mtv.com/2011/02/14/best-grammy-performance-poll-eminem-lady-gaga/

So... Did "lady Gaga" really fire up the pipe organ?

That "Juliard-trained" young organist has certainly made much mileage from his "Grammy Nomination" :o ::) ::) :P

Congratulations, Paul Jacobs 8)

Long Live the "King" ;)

Eric
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Re: Organist Wins a Grammy!
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 07:59:09 AM »
Quote
"I was stunned," said Mr. Jacobs. "I never would have thought that a very intense, yet magnificent organ music could be honored alongside pop stars like Lady Gaga."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11046/1125422-388.stm#ixzz1E5PlL4SF

 ;D

Eric
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KB7DQH

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Re: Organist Wins a Grammy!
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 02:31:31 PM »
Must have been an "electronic representation" employed by the "lady"... as Staples Center lacks a proper pipe organ :o :o :o :o :o  or even an improper one :(

Maybe in some small way "Lady Gaga" in her short performance on the "fake organ" was a symbolic gesture celebrating this first award of a Grammy to an organist... (wishful thinking on my part  ???)

  Saw her "60 Minutes" interview prior to the Grammy awards and it was mentioned she is a "classically trained pianist" :o :o :o

Eric
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Re: Organist Wins a Grammy!
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 07:13:43 AM »
And another "press clipping" 8)

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/editorial/02-22-2011-Another--Editorial

Ending with...
Quote
Jacobs' triumphs are something to consider when we think about funding for arts education and the amount of encouragement we give to students with artistic, dramatic or musical skills. Jacobs has demonstrated that it can take you places.

The objective is to reach human immortality—that is, to create things which are necessary to mankind, necessary to the purpose of the existence of mankind, and which have become the fruit that drives the creation of a higher state of mankind than ever existed before."

 


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