Winterfeldt to Present Hildegard Organ Recital Friday

Posted on September 13th, 2010 by

12th Century Author Hildegard von Bingen

12th Century Author Hildegard von Bingen

First Lutheran Church music director and Assistant Christ Chapel Organist Chad Winterfeldt will present Frank Ferko’s Hildegard Organ Cycle in Christ Chapel, Friday, September 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Ferko’s Organ Cycle, based on the writings of the 12th Century mystic Hildedegard von Bingen, is free and open to the public.

The recital falls on the feast day that commemorates the mystical 12th Century abbess, Hildegard von Bingen.  To highlight the commemoration, Winterfeldt will perform the Hildegard Organ Cycle, a ten-movement composition based upon the holy visions described by Hildegard in De Operatione Dei (also known as The Book of Divine Works).   Frank Ferko, a composer and musician currently living in Chicago, selected ten writings from Hildegard’s work and composed the music in 1990.

Musically, this meditative composition combines fragments of Hildegard’s plainchant with the lush orchestral sounds of the organ to pictorially evoke the mystical visions compiled in Hildegard’s last major work.  Often times very slow and quiet, while other times noisy and raucously driven, this work offers a captivating portal into Hildegard’s world.  Some of the movements’ titles are:  The Origin of Life, the Construction of the World, Human Nature, Places of Purification, and the End of Time.  Ferko effectively incorporates diverse musical styles, such as the idiosyncratic melodic language of Olivier Messiaen, the post-minimalist rhythmic and harmonic tapestries of John Adams, and soft “cool” jazz chords into an intriguing mélange of sound.

Chaplain Rachel Larson will participate in the recital to provide an historical introduction to Abbess Hildegard von Bingen and present three or four readings from Hildegard’s writings. Soprano Lisa Knutson will perform four of the Hildegard chants during the performance. 

Chad Winterfeldt earned a doctorate in organ performance from the University of Nebraska in 2004 where he studied with George Ritchie and Quentin Faulkner.  He also earned degrees in music at Concordia College, Moorhead, and Yale University.  In February 2009, he presented the complete performance of Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur in Christ Chapel.  He lives in Saint Peter and serves First Lutheran Church as Director of Music and Gustavus as Assistant Organist at Christ Chapel and Director of Handbells.

Friday’s recital by Organist Chad Winterfeldt is free and open to the public. It begins at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel.


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