CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 1, 2000
Organist Robert Triplett will play Bach and Vierne
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Robert Triplett, a visiting faculty
member at the University of Iowa School of Music, will perform music from
two of the greatest traditions of organ playing and composition when he presents
a recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 in UI Clapp Recital Hall.
Tripletts recital will be free and open to the
The first half of the program will comprise music
by J.S. Bach, regarded as one of the greatest organists, and greatest composers,
of European music history. Bach represents the culmination of the German Baroque
school of organ playing and composition, considered the first significant
peak in the history of organ music. This style emphasized the combination
of independent musical lines, known as counterpoint, and clear, bright textures.
The organs of the 17th and 18th centuries, made to show off a variety of distinct
sounds, were ideal for this style.
Triplett will perform selections from the third part
of Bachs "Klavieruebung" (Keyboard practice), published in
1739. Described by the composer as a collection of "various preludes
on the catechism and other hymns, for music lovers and especially connoisseurs
of such work," the volume comprises 27 pieces, 21 of which are based
on Lutheran chorale melodies. The chorales are followed by four two-part "Duetti,"
and the whole collection is framed by an opening prelude and a closing fugue.
Asked why Bach would write such a mixed conglomeration
of pieces, Triplett says "the simple answer is that he wanted to explore
various aspects of Keyboard Practice, just as the title indicates.
"But of course he did more. He wrote a long and
complicated work that can be appreciated on different levels: for the music
lover who wants simply to enjoy the pleasure of the musical sound, and for
the learned connoisseur who delights in musical puzzles and hidden meanings."
Then, with considerable understatement, Triplett adds,
"The latter has occupied Bach scholars for years, sometimes in spirited
Another very different peak in the history of organ
music is represented by the French Romantic style of the 19th and early 20th
centuries. This so-called "symphonic" style emphasized organs made
to imitate the sounds of orchestral instruments, including strings, trombones,
flutes and others. Music composed for these large instruments tended to emphasize
sonority, massive chords and impressive sounds, all in the context of virtuoso
One of the great composers of the French style was
Louis Vierne, who wrote six symphonies for organ, works that may be considered
the culmination of the French school, just as Bach represents
the culmination of the German school. For the Sept. 17 recital, Triplett will
play selections from three of Viernes symphonies for organ.
Triplett has appeared as recitalist throughout the
United States and for national and regional conventions of the American Guild
of Organists. He received a doctorate in sacred music from the Union Theological
Seminary, following studies with several eminent organists and organ teachers.
The author of numerous professional articles and several published compositions,
he has taught at Maryville (Tenn.) College and the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill. His performances have been featured on the nationally syndicated
radio program "Pipedreams."
His CD recording of performances on the four-manual,
65-rank Moller-Casavant organ at Cornell College was issued by Centaur records.
Fanfare magazine praised the recording as "imposing and eloquent . .
. full of virtuosity and panache," while the French magazine Diapason
noted Tripletts "infallible and easy virtuosity, suppleness, precision
and absolute fidelity to the spirit of the text." Noted keyboard artist
Igor Kipnis wrote, "There are so many intriguing aspects to this collection
. . . that one does not know what to praise first. . . . (It is) an impressive
accomplishment in every way."
In conjunction with his musical activities, Triplett
maintains a second career as a stage-fright consultant. His presentations
have attracted a wide range of fellow stage-fright sufferers, including actors,
teachers, musicians, ministers, athletes, business professionals, doctors,
civic leaders and even two airplane pilots.
His book, "Stagefright: Letting It Work for You,"
has met critical acclaim. Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck commented, "Stagefright
is a book I wish I had read early in my life. The book could be called Lifefright
instead of Stagefright because it deals with living and communicating."
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.