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Sr. Claudette Schiratti kicks off Bachathon XXXV with great style

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Claudette Schiratti, Organist, put the Gabriel Kney & Co., 1981 tracker pipe organ through its paces Sunday, with Johann Sebastian Bach's Choralpartiten, O Gott, du frommer Gott BWV 767, and Piece d’Orgue in G BWV 572.

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Perhaps the dramatic Choralpartiten, O Gott, du frommer Gott BWV 767 should have been allowed to shake the stone walls of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral in the west of downtown Kansas City before any introduction; regardless, it left no one wanting.

The nine variations began with the tune introduction in thunderous chords, emanating from the rear balcony of the nave, demonstrating many of the sounds available from this instrument. Perhaps the most inviting sound was in the eighth partita's use of 4' flutes for a sweet, ghostly sound. The firm final movement provided a satisfying conclusion.

Piece d’Orgue in G BWV 572, also begins thunderously. A tracker organ uses the organist's muscle action on the keys to open and close pipes, with no electronic assist, as with an electromagnetic organ. The finger action is infinitessimally slower than an electric button, but the physically activated action provides a distinct stop and start of sound that cannot be duplicated; Sr. Claudette's playing of Bach, whether tornado-like or somber, took advantage of that distinct character to provide an authentic trip to the 18th Century.

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