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Review: Concert for healing and renewal by Dr. Marc Heeg

Concert for Healing and Renewal by Dr. Marc Heeg

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A Concert for Healing and Renewal by Dr. Marc Heeg was held on March 22, 2014 at the Christian Spiritualist Temple. Dr. Marc Heeg is a virtuoso classical pianist. He is also a spiritualist. His choices of pieces to transition from winter to spring were truly inspired.

Dr. Marc Heeg, Spiritual Pianist
Dr. Marc Heeg

Dr. Heeg had originally selected a group of classical composers with well-known names. Spirit led him to balance this program with two lesser known, but excellent composers to usher in Spring. Dr. Heeg was passionate in his narration of the history and meaning of the compositions played throughout the evening's performance.

You can learn more about Dr. Heeg and his music through this link to Examiner.com. This is the third concert done by Dr. Heeg since his arrival in Columbus in 2013.

The first selection, Sonada de Adios by Joaquin Rodrigo premiered in Paris in 1936 at the Société Nationale de Musique. This is a song of goodbye, and Dr. Heeg chose it to symbolically bid adieu to winter. It is somewhat mournful and appropriate to end the winter of general discontent here in Columbus. After eight years as a professor of music in Cyprus, Dr. Heeg was not prepared for the Ohio winter this year.

Three nocturne pieces by Frederic Chopin were somewhat brighter than the night for which nocturnes were traditionally written. Chopin wrote 21 nocturne pieces. Dr. Heeg played from three of these pieces. Nocturnes were generally written for solo pianos, and Dr. Heeg’s renditions were haunting reminders of winter nights. The intensity and volume of the music reminded the audience of the cycles of winter, and the slow movement into Spring.

Following the intermission, there were three pieces by Claude Debussy. Footprints in the night was related to Dr. Heeg’s isolation due to the long frozen snows and ice that surrounded his house this winter. Des pas sur la neige conveyed the animals scurrying in the coldness as winter snows covered the ground. Some of the footsteps were a mystery. The music was crisp and clear.

La cathedrale engloutie was a moving piece, with an intriguing story relating to how a Catholic monastery on an island off the coast of Normandy sank into the sea. The voices of the monks were carried by the winds and tides to those that remained on shore. We could hear their cries within the notes of the piece.

Au Claire de Lune is one of Debussy’s most famous pieces. The light of the moon seemed to shine throughout the church during this piece. The three foot thick walls and ceiling that rises over 30 feet above the sanctuary floor make the notes reverberate for this well-known piece. A spirit carried the smell of incense to the pews near the piano in a tribute to the music being played at this recital.

The final three pieces were Danza Espanola’s (Spanish Dances) by Enrique Granados. Dr. Heeg related how Granados came to the US in 1914 to play in New York with his musical company. Granados was invited to play at the White House by Woodrow Wilson. When he departed the US, it was on the Lusitania. When the ship was attacked by Germany, Granados was put into a life boat. He heard his wife calling from the ocean and Granados dove in to rescue her. They were never seen again.

The three pieces by Granados were played with as much passion as the story relating Granados’ love of his wife. The dances offered the vigor and newness of spring that will surely come soon to Columbus. Danza Espanola #5 was followed by dances #2 and #8. You can listen to Dr. Heeg playing the Danza #5 compositions on the accompanying video. Dr. Heeg also did the interpretation of this piece through his own cinematic skills.

The encores consisted of an adaptation of a Russian flute piece, Arias that Dr. Heeg did for the piano. He ended the evening with a second encore that was an original composition that brought tears to many in the audience. Dr. Heeg will be the featured artist for another upcoming concert at the Christian Spiritualist Temple in the next several months. Make it a point to come and listen to Dr. Heeg.