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Jan Kraybill shoots fireworks from Auditorium organ in Independence on Moms' Day

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Jan Kraybill played a Mothers' Day recital on the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ at the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri.


During the after-recital conversation, Sunday, at The Auditorium organ console, a member of the audience asked to observe Dr. Jan Kraybill play the beginning of her first number, Aaron Copland's (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man, arranged for organ by Dorothy Papadakos. She complied, but when told that the gigantic initial trumpet blast from the rear, antiphonal organ did not make us jump this time, because it was now farther away, she giggled. She giggled!

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Although the short piece was composed for full orchestra with brass and timpani, when a great arranger, a great organist and a great organ (the 113 rank, 6,334 pipes, Aeolian-Skinner Organ) put their abilities together, the result makes the New York Philharmonic's efforts seem tame. The common man now has reason to feel very important.

Georg Friedrich Händel's (1685-1759) “Allegro” from Concerto in F Major, Op. 4, No. 4, was festive, but not quite as, thrilling? One section with two foot and eight foot flutes seemed to invoke fog, sound fog. The Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) transcription from orchestra to organ made the piece seem totally created for the organ, no surprise, there.

Jan's own transcription of Dave Brubeck's (1920-2012) Two-Part Contention brought the instrumental jazz piece to life. She successfully made the honorable A-S pipe organ sound like a really big Hammond plug-in model, if that can be called success. Such fun.

The Dupré: Prelude and Fugue in G minor, Op. 7, No. 3 begins with moody, soft chugging and little sounds coming out of the mist. The unbelievably fast, almost indistinctly soft, notes find their voice, and in the six-seven minutes, they build to a crashing, satisfying end.

The program ended at the console for several audience members, among other things, discussing how Händel overstayed the leave he had received from his employer, George, Elector of Hanover, to visit England. Queen Anne so enjoyed Händel's music that she asked him to stay longer, which he did. She died, and the genealogically closest, eligible protestant to receive the crown was her third cousin, George, the Elector of Hanover. Oops.