The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine will host a blessing and dedication concert on their new 87-rank Colby/Walker gallery organ that has joined the Cathedral’s chancel 57-rank Casavant Frères pipe organ in the renovated and restored church on Friday, June 5, at 7 p.m. The concert will be at the Cathedral Basilica, 38 Cathedral Place in St. Augustine and is open to the public.
The two organs will lead worship for the Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of St. Augustine as well as enhance future organ concerts. The new organ is made possible by a gift from a very generous donor.
The organs are playable from either organ console; however the Colby/Walker in the new choir gallery has full capability of the pipe organ in the chancel of the Cathedral while the Casavant has limited accessibility to the Colby/Walker.
To inaugurate the new organ and the restoration of the Casavant pipe organ, the concert will be performed on both organs by Adam J. Brakel.
His spell-binding performances have led Brakel to be compared to Liszt, Gould, Bernstein and Paganini – proving that true musical prodigies continue to exist in the 21st century. Florida Public Radio hailed him as “An absolute organ prodigy, with the technique and virtuosity that most concert pianists could only dream of, and having the potential to be the leading organist of his generation…the Franz Liszt of the organ.”
The Chicago Tribune recognized Brakel as “One of the most talented organists in the world.” A recent graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, Brakel has already embarked on a highly successful concert career, playing from coast to coast in the United States, and concert tours in England, Germany and Hong Kong. Dame Gillian Weir, one of the foremost organists in the world, said Brakel “is to be commended for his devotion to the art of performance, and to music itself.”
Brakel’s repertoire of organ literature is extensive, and includes the entire spectrum of styles including the complete organ works of Bach, Bruhns, Buxtehude, Couperin, Liszt, de Grigny, Mozart, Mendelssohn and others – laudable for a performer only in his 20’s. Recent performance highlights include the performances of the complete works of César Franck and, more notably, the fiendishly difficult Six Etudes of Jeanne Demessieux, one of very few performers in the world to perform and record the entire set. Brakel has also made an intentional study of jazz music for the pipe organ and has worked with leading jazz composers in the development of new works in this genre.
Brakel will include in his concert program at the Cathedral Basilica the works of Marco Enrico Bossi, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Johann Sebastian Bach, Jeanne Demessieux, Louis Vierne and others. He will conclude his concert with the renowned “Sonata on the 94th Psalm” of Julius Reubke.
For more information, call Dr. Bernie Sans, director of music at the Cathedral Basilica at (904) 824-2806 or by email at Cathstaugmusic@gmail.com.