The Washington Redskins may have had a kick-off on Sunday afternoon, but that by no means was a deterrent for the large audience that came to hear Adam Scott Graham's fall organ recital at historic Saint John's Church, Broad Creek-Ft. Washington, MD. A variety of composers were represented on the program, notably J. S. Bach, Cesar Franck and Samuel Barber. The church's custom designed Allen digital organ was named the Thornhill-Ulrich Organ, in memory of deceased members of the family of the principal donors to the organ fund.
In particular, the organ registrations for the performance of the Bach adaptation of Vivaldi's "Concerto in A minor" were the perfect vehicle for the bright, shimmering sounds of the organ. Often, organist get accused of playing too loud. To quell that stereotype, an transcription of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" summoned the warm strings of the organ and an occasional solo stop. This work was a showcase for Graham's interpretive instincts, bringing life to a somber work thought to be solely that for orchestral performance.
It was like a reunion of sorts. The full church sanctuary represented colleagues, friends and former churches at which Graham served as music director. A wonderful reception followed the program in the church's social hall.
Concerts continue at the church on Sunday, Nov. 3 2013 with choral evensong for All Saints. Visit http://www.stjohnsbroadcreek.org for more information.