Organ with pipes, key desk, and pedal board

César Franck 200th Anniversary Concert at Spanaway Lutheran Church

March 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the birthday of César Franck, a legendary French organist and composer. The Tacoma AGO celebrated this birthday with a March program featuring a recital of the music of César Franck played by members at the Spanaway Lutheran Church.

The 1905 Woodberry organ is in a case at the front of the room, with a traditional style key desk and a keyboard cover that can be lifted to form a music rack. There are two manuals, with a compass of 61 notes, three divisions, 22 stops, 18 registers, and 20 ranks. The pedalboard is flat, with a compass of 30 notes.  The organ features slider chests, and mechanical key and stop action.

Dean Sheila Bristow standing at front of church holding notes
Dean Sheila Bristow welcomes audience at the March 2022 meeting

After Tacoma AGO Dean Sheila Bristow welcomed the members, member Tim Drewes began the program with Chorale Number 2 in B minor, one of three organ chorales that Franck wrote at the end of his life.

Member Wyatt Smith continued the program, with Pastorale in E Major, Opus 19, following which he was joined by Dean Sheila Bristow at the Steinway piano for a duet performance of Prelude, Fugue and Variation in B Minor, Opus 18. Franck wrote two versions of this piece–one for organ alone, but the second to be played as a duet with a pianist.

The program concluded with Chorale Number 3 in A minor, played by Cheryl Drewes, who is the organist at Spanaway Lutheran Church.

Cheryl Drewes standing in front of organ bench facing audience
Cheryl Drewes acknowledges the audience

Following the program, members enjoyed a wine and cheese reception in the church narthex.

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