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Paul Jacobs @ Kennedy Center

Charles T. Downey, Organist Paul Jacobs offers refined performance at Kennedy Center (Washington Post, February 7, 2014)

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Messiaen, Le Livre du Saint-Sacrement, P. Jacobs
(Naxos, 2010)
Whatever happened to those good, old head-to-head competitions between composers or performers? Scarlatti once competed against Handel in Rome, ending in a draw on the harpsichord but Handel having the upper hand on the organ. Bach was scheduled to do musical battle with Louis Marchand, but the French organist fled before the meeting could take place. Mozart vied with Muzio Clementi before the emperor of Austria, who declared the match a tie.

A virtuoso contest of this sort would have been a great way to celebrate the installation of the new Rubenstein Family Organ in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. In our less competitive age, a recital series will have to do, and the inaugural version continued on Wednesday night with a concert by American organist Paul Jacobs. If the first concert in the series, back in October and featuring Cameron Carpenter, was about flamboyance, Jacobs offered a program, on the theme of “Music in Paris,” that was about refinement. Seeing these two artists, who represent opposite temperaments in many ways, compete with one another, rather than in series, would be interesting to say the least. [Continue reading]
Paul Jacobs, organ
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Charles T. Downey, Cameron Carpenter (October 18, 2013)

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