Heinrich Christensen cropped

FEBRUARY 16 at 4PM 

ORGAN CONCERT 

Bach Echoing through the Centuries

Bach, Mendelssohn, Middelschulte

With Organist, Heinrich Christensen

$25 // $20 for Berkshire Bach, AGO, and OLLI members.
Students Free with ID.
Tickets available at the door.

First Church of Christ, 27 East Street, Pittsfield, MA

THE PROGRAM

Toccata in F Major, BWV 540,1 . . . . . . . J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)
Canon in F Major . . . . . . . . Wilhelm Middelschulte (1863 – 1943)
Fugue in F Major, BWV 540,2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.S. Bach
Sonata VI (Vater unser im Himmelreich) . . . . . Felix Mendelssohn
…..Chorale and Variations                                                (1809 – 1847)
…..Fugue
…..Finale
Toccata on A Mighty Fortress . . . . . . . . . . Wilhelm Middelschulte

                                                  INTERMISSION

Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 682 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.S. Bach
Canon on Vater unser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Wilhelm Middelschulte
Selected Goldberg Variations (arr. Middelschulte) . . . . . J.S. Bach

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The genius of Johann Sebastian Bach likely would not have been appreciated the way it is today if not for the pioneering work of Felix Mendelssohn bringing Bach’s music to the attention of 19th century audiences. And in the early 20th century, Wilhelm Middelschulte, a famous Bach interpreter himself, arranged the Goldberg Variations for organ and composed a series of organ works extending Bach’s contrapuntal inventions even further.

This program will combine these three composers. The common denominator is the Lutheran chorale Vater Unser, based on The Lord’s Prayer. Bach, Mendelssohn, and Middelschulte all wrote works based on this chorale. From Middelschulte, you will also hear a Canon dedicated to Clarence Eddy, based on the theme of Bach’s F Major Toccata. And the program will close with selected Goldberg Variations in Middelschulte’s arrangement.

HEINRICH CHRISTENSEN
A native of Denmark, Heinrich Christensen received the Church Music and Soloist Diplomas from the Århus Conservatory of Music with further studies at the Conservatoire de Saint-Maur with Olivier Latry. After a stint as a music director in Malmö, Sweden, he came to the US in 1998 and received an Artist Diploma in Organ Performance from the Boston Conservatory where his teacher was James David Christie.

He was appointed Music Director of historic King’s Chapel, Boston, in the year 2000 after serving as the affiliate organist under Daniel Pinkham for the last two years of Dr. Pinkham’s 42-year tenure at the church. At King’s Chapel, he manages the Tuesday Noon Hour Recitals as well as the King’s Chapel Concert Series, and directs the fully professional choir. Heinrich was a prizewinner at the international organ competitions in Odense and Erfurt and has given solo recitals on four continents.

An avid proponent of contemporary music, he has premiered works by Daniel Pinkham, Carson Cooman, Graham Gordon Ramsay, James Woodman and several others. He has worked extensively as an accompanist for many choral groups in the Boston area, and has recorded with Philovox, Boston Secession and Seraphim Singers, and Daniel Pinkham’s works for solo voice and organ with Florestan Recital Project. The solo CD “Heinrich Christensen plays the C.B. Fisk Organ at King’s Chapel” (available at arsisaudio.com) was hailed by Gramophone Magazine as a “smorgasbord” of “enormous stylistic flexibility”. For the past 16 years, he has performed an annual recital of Bach works as a featured soloist of Boston’s venerable First Night celebrations. In February 2011, he released a recording of Clavierübung III. In October 2011, Albany Records released “The Sacred Voice” with works of Graham Gordon Ramsay.

His articles have been published in Denmark and the UK, he was a recitalist at the AGO Region IV convention in 2011, and he presented a workshop on Scandinavian Organ Repertoire at the AGO National Convention in Minneapolis in 2008. Mr. Christensen is a past dean of the Boston chapter of the AGO, served on the steering committee for the Regional Convention 2009, and is currently on the New Music and steering committees for the National Convention slated for 2014 in Boston. He will also be a featured performer at the 2014 National Convention in a program of chamber music for organ and strings. This is Mr. Christensen’s first Berkshire Bach Society performance.