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07 September 2018
Een buitengewoon musicusDe Brits-Australische organist en koordirigent Joseph Nolan wordt alom geprezen. ABC Classic FM noemt hem “een buitengewoon musicus”, BBC Radio 3 Record Review vindt hem "geweldig" en Gramophone ziet Nolan als “scherpzinnig en intens muzikaal”. Voor zijn album Midnight at St Etienne du Mont, opgenomen in de kerk en op het orgel van Maurice Duruflé, bekroonde ook Limelight Magazine Joseph Nolan, en wel met hun begeerde ‘Recording of the Month’. Het was de eerste keer in de geschiedenis van het tijdschrift dat deze onderscheiding werd uitgereikt aan een orgelalbum.
British-Australian organist and choral conductor Dr Joseph Nolan has been hailed by ABC Classic FM as ‘an extraordinary musician’, by BBC Radio 3 Record Review for ‘his miraculous playing', by Limelight Magazine as ‘a Colossus’ and by Gramophone for his ‘towering technique, vivid virtuosity and inspired interpretive insight’.
Twice nominated for Artist of the Year in 2016 and 2018, Limelight Magazine awarded Joseph its coveted Recording of the Month for his ninth disc for Signum Records from St Etienne du Mont, Paris, the church and organ of Maurice Duruflé. This is the first time in the history of the magazine that an organ disc has been awarded this distinction. Limelight Magazine has also recently awarded Joseph an unprecedented third Editor’s Choice for his tenth disc for Signum Records from St Bavo Haarlem.
Joseph studied at the Royal College of Music, London, winning the Canon Bark Prize for most promising organ student, and was awarded First Class Honours for his final recital at the Temple Church, London. Scholarships from the Countess of Munster Trust, Hattori Foundation and the Royal Philharmonic Society supported his advanced studies with legendary organists Marie-Claire Alain in Paris and Dame Gillian Weir in London.
Appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace, in 2004, Joseph performed on numerous occasions at Buckingham Palace, most notably giving the opening concert of the refurbished Grand Ballroom organ to a distinguished audience.
Joseph has played in concerts across the globe and made his solo debut at Sydney Opera House in the 2017 Sydney Symphony Orchestra Season to great critical acclaim. July 2019 will see Joseph return to Sydney Opera House, making another debut, as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under their chief conductor, David Robertson. Joseph has also performed as a concerto soloist with the Malaysian Symphony Orchestra at Petronas Concert Hall, Kuala Lumpur, and with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra at Perth Concert Hall.
Joseph’s interpretations of the complete works of Charles-Marie Widor for Signum Records — winner of Gramophone’s 2017 ‘Label of the Year’ award — have firmly cemented his international reputation, with both Gramophone and The Australian describing the discs as ‘utterly authoritative’, Music Web International as ‘The Widor cycle of the decade’, BBC Music Magazine as ‘swashbuckling’, and Limelight Magazine as ‘Monumental’.
The Nolan/Signum Widor cycle features the finest Cavaillé-Coll organs in France, including those of La Madeleine in Paris, St Sernin in Toulouse and St François de Sales, Lyon. The discs have been awarded multiple five-star reviews and Editor’s Choice awards in BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone and Limelight Magazine. They have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and ABC Classic FM amongst many others. Joseph’s career has also been the subject of substantial interviews on Radio National (Australia) and in Gramophone, Choir and Organ, The Organ and The Australian.
Very notably, Gramophone magazine awarded the final disc in the Widor cycle a Critic’s Choice for 2017, and in May 2019 awarded Joseph's complete Widor cycle benchmark status as ‘the current yardstick for all Widor recordings’.
Gramophone recently hailed Joseph’s tenth disc from St Bavo Haarlem for Signum as a ‘wonderful accomplishment’, with the recording immediately entering the classical charts, a unique achievement for a disc of organ music. BBC Radio 3’s Record Review programme hailed Joseph’s playing on the disc as ‘miraculous and extraordinary’ and Musicweb International named the disk a Recording of the Year 2018, declaring it as ‘possibly the organ disc of the decade’.
Joseph was invited to take up the position of Organist and Master of Music at St George’s Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia in 2008. Under his leadership, the Cathedral music programme has been described as ‘elite’ and ‘world class’ in The Australian and The West Australian newspapers. The Cathedral choirs have regularly performed for ABC Classic FM whilst the Cathedral Consort has performed with the Hilliard Ensemble, the Academy of Ancient Music and The King's Singers.
In April 2019, Joseph conducted the West Australian Symphony Orchestra with the St George’s Cathedral Consort in a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. The performance was broadcast live on ABC Classic FM, garnering rave reviews in The Australian and The West Australian newspapers. Limelight Magazine hailed the performance as ‘one of the most technically and musically satisfying performances ever heard’.
Joseph has also collaborated in concert with some of the world’s finest trumpeters, including Alison Balsom, Crispian Steele-Perkins and David Elton, Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Joseph was made a Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for services to French music in 2016 and became an Honorary Fellow of the University of Western Australia in 2013. The University awarded Joseph its prestigious higher doctorate, the Doctor of Letters, in 2018.
Joseph will be returning to the famous church of La Madeleine, Paris, to record the complete organ works of Charles-Valentin Alkan for Signum Records in June 2020
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.
Mendelssohn is often compared to Mozart. Both of them were child prodigies, both had a talented sister and they both died at a young age. Mendelssohn, who as a child also painted wrote poetry, was born in small family which converted to christianity from judaism. As a composer he preferred looking back, rather than forward: his main examples were Bach, Handel and Mozart. It was Mendelssohn who retrieved Bach from oblivion and pushed for a revival of his music, which still lasts today. One century after its premier, Mendelsson performed the St Matthew Passion for the second time ever, in 1829.
Three years, earlier, on his 17th, he had already composed his masterfully overture A midsummer night's dream op. 21, based on Shakespeare's play. Today, it is still considered as one of the absolute masterpieces in all of the orchestra reperoire. His Violin Concerto op. 64 belongs to the most beautiful works of the 19th century as well. During his travels through Europe, he wrote his brilliant Italian Symphony, Scottish Symphony and the overture The Hebrides.
Although Mendelssohn had a prosperous career, his weak physique made him emotionally vulnerable. The death of his favourite sister Fanny became fatal: Mendelssohn died in the same year, at the age of 38.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Among the general public, Dieterich Buxtehude is mostly known due to the admiration Johann Sebastian Bach had for his organ and composing skills, for which Bach traveled to the North German city of Lübeck to stay with him for four months, no less. This says quite something about the quality of Buxtehude's performance, but even more so about the influence it had on Bach and all composers after him. Yet, nowadays Buxtehude's music does not need Bach to survive, as a matter of fact it is extraordinarily beautiful just by itself! Buxtehude was originally Danish, but he spent most of him life in Lübeck. His so-called 'Abendmusik', which was a series of evening concerts outside of the liturgy, grew famous. In the works he wrote for these occasions, his enormous fantasy and creative freedom truly shows. As an organ player, Buxtehude was widely famous. If you would listen to his Organ Preludes, you would quickly know why. Buxtehude manages to combine an unprecedented virtuosity with a large variety of styles and techniques. No wonder Bach traveled all that way to see him!