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Jan Kraybill's Super Bowl Concert XV was super, with a touch of the Olympics

Super Bowl XV Organ Concert by Jan Kraybill at The Auditorium in Independence MO


One hundred and eleven million people watched the Super Bowl broadcast Sunday night. A little earlier, about a thousand people gathered in the Auditorium in Independence to hear Jan Kraybill's Super Bowl Concert XV; The latter group experienced a better show. Dr. Kraybill nodded to so many interest groups she may well have needed some chiropractic work. Her theme for Sunday afternoon was determination and triumph. Within that frame, she kicked off with triumph, which continued with music from the Olympics, past and current, she included music of determination in times of trial, music representing a lifetime of accomplishment, and finally, the determination and triumph of Christ's Church.

Hand a great musician a great instrument .  .  .  .
not sure you can hand a person a 113 rank pipe organ.
Hand a great musician a great instrument . . . . not sure you can hand a person a 113 rank pipe organ.
Floyd E. Gingrich
The antiphonal organ was prominent in the kickoff pice, Copland's, "Fanfare for the Common Man."
Floyd E. Gingrich

The program:

Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990): Fanfare for the Common Man (1942), organ transcription by Dorothy Papadakos. Jan made good use of the antiphonal organ for an auditory extravaganza to start the program in grand style. She showed wonderment of the power of the 113 ranks ( 6,334 pipes) Aeolian-Skinner Organ as she acknowledged the extended applause for this work, she uttered, "Isn't that incredible?" She brought the music out, but it would not have been possible without the magnificent instrument.

Johann Sebastian Bach(1685 - 1750): Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543. From Bach's early period, it requires active feet and fingers, managed with ease by Dr. Kraybill.

However, the Bach piece did elicit an intrusive yellow flag and foul call by a stripe-shirted Alan Kraybill. Please see the slide show for details of the adjudication of the potential infraction.

Johannes (1833-1897) Brahms: Prelude and Fugue on O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid (O grief, O woe), WoO 7, a mood challenge to get beyond the frivolous athletic intermezzo to this evidence of Brahms' study of Bach in a work depicting the crucifixion and burial of Christ. Within the determined sorrow lies the importance of the whole drama, the coming resurrection, and with it, the vanquishing of the power of evil.

Max Reger (1873 -1916): "Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue," Op. 127, composed in 1913, just as the World War was brewing and Reger's heart disease was cutting short hte composer's life. Unmistakeably 20th Century, extending the legacy of German counterpoint through the voice of moderate chromaticism, Reger expresses all of the negative pressures on life, his and the world's, again with the determination to fight on to the end. The three German contrapuntal works were notable in the commonality of chromaticism, obviously not born in the last century.

A Tribute to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics:
Leo Arnaud (1904–1991), "Bugler’s Dream," Половецкая Пляска Александр Бородинъ (Polovetsian Dances), and "Olympic," Alexander Borodin, (1833–1887) and "Fanfare and Theme," by John Williams (b. 1932), transcribed by Jan Kraybill. During this unabashedly triumphant section, the audience was treated to a polished twin jumbotron video clips presentation of past Winter Olympics, put together by Bob and Paul Haworth, who also installed and produced the five camera visuals of today's concert.

Florent Schmitt (1870 - 1958): Prélude/Priére in G minor, a piece whose recording debut is on the Kauffman Organ's debut recording by Dr. Kraybill last summer, and due soon on the market.

Passing Thoughts, composed by Blanche Gangwere (b. 1918) of Kansas City, who was present for this event,
I. Fleeting Thoughts, II. Whimsical Thoughts, and movement III. Unexpected Thoughts. According to the program, Mrs Gangwere used material from the first movement in the second movment, using several contrapuntal techniques. Despite the technical description of the piece, it comes off as a Debussy -like use of ragtime rhythms in a light, whimsical statement of how things continue.

Henri Mulet (1878 - 1967): Tu es Petra (Thou Art Peter) a resounding musical statement of Jesus' endowing the church with his determination and triumph, at a time when few would have predicted the earth-changing effect of that man and the church. The powerful piece was played with authority and musicality, befitting both the music and the message.

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