NOVEL SOPRANO ORGAN DUO IN CAS CONCERT
Soprano Christine Westhoff and organist Timothy Allen, a husband and wife duo, gave a delightful and satisfying autumn musicale October 18 in west Santa Rosa’s Resurrection Parish. The Creative Arts Series produced the concert.
Ms. Westhoff, accompanied sensitively by her husband at the console, sang two sets of well known, yet always welcomed, arias from the classical church repertory. Her gloriously archangelic voice sang these beloved melodies as though they were written just for her. She demonstrated outstanding control of the musical line from the pianissimo to a powerful forte. The expression of emotion in the music never failed to rise to majesty.
Her program of comfort and love was everybody’s favorites. There was Vivaldi’s “Domine Deus”, Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum”, Faure’s “Pie Jesu” and Mendelssohn’s “Hear O Israel”. These were followed in the second half by Handel’s “I know my Redeemer Liveth”, Schubert’s “Ave Maria”, and “O Divine Redeemer” by Gounod. Nothing was stale in this glorious presentation. All were sung as newly invented.
Not to be outdone by his musical companion, the virtuoso organist played new and familiar organ works with the expected consummate skill. In addition to Bach’s Sonata No. 5 in C major (BWV 529) and the Sinfonia from Cantata 29, arranged by A. Guilmant, Mr. Allen performed selected works by British composers Alan Ridout (1934-1996), and Derek Bourgeois (b. 1944), and the Welshman William Mathias (1934-1992). He concluded his program with the familiar and satisfying “Carillon de Westminster” of Vierne.
More about the recitalists can be seen at www.christinewesthoff.com and http://www.arkansasarts.org/aot-artists/timothy-allen-and-christine-westhoff.