Posted by: rbbadger | April 23, 2012

Paul Jacobs

Paul Jacobs is one of the most prominent of American organists.  In his twenties, he gained a faculty appointment at the Julliard School, becoming head of the organ department at age 27.  He is also the first American organist to have won a Grammy which he won playing Messiaen.  For those of you who don’t know who Messiaen was, he was a French composer, organist and teacher.  He was one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century.  As a teacher, he taught some of the foremost composers of the past century.  Among his students were Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Iannis Xenakis.  Messiaen was a profoundly Catholic composer.  Most of his works are centred on some aspect of his faith, such as his Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jesus (20 Gazes on the Infant Jesus), La Nativité du Seigneur (The Nativity of the Lord), Quartour pour la fin du temps (Quartet For the End of Time), Livre du Saint Sacrement (Book of the Blessed Sacrament) and others.  

Paul Jacobs gave a Bach recital for NPR recently.  They moved a small Allen electronic instrument into their office and he gave a recital on that.  There are some organists who deride playing Bach on anything less than a historically informed instrument, though Jacobs is not one of them. 

 

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