Pipeworks From The Organ Loft - Fergal Caulfield
Although precluded from holding a physical festival in June, Pipeworks is pleased to present “Pipeworks from the Organ Loft”, a series of five streamed and recorded events which will air during the festival dates. The events were all to have taken place during the festival, and Pipeworks is most grateful to the participants for their cooperation in making this digital content possible.
Fergal Caulfield, Organ
Les Corps Glorieux (1939) - Sept Visions brèves de la Vie Des Ressuscités
I. Subtilité des Corps Glorieux
II. Les Eaux de la Grace
III. L’Ange aux Parfums
IV. Combat de la Mort et de la Vie
V. Force et Agilité Des Corps Glorieux
VI. Joie et Clarté Des Corps Glorieux
VII. Le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité
Les Corps Glorieux (‘The Glorified Bodies’) is the third of Messiaen’s early organ cycles (succeeding L’Ascension and La Nativité, and extending the latter’s striking modal and rhythmic language into even more novel territory). The final bar of the score bears the completion date 25th August 1939 - mere days before the outbreak of World War II - and the atmosphere of that time may perhaps have infused its Easter theme of death and transfiguration. Subtitled ‘Seven brief Visions of the life of the Resurrected ones’ the work gravitates around a lengthy central movement (‘The Combat of Life and Death’), a ‘diptyque’ which starkly juxtaposes earthly and heavenly existence. As the composer wrote of this work - a personal favourite among his own compositions - ‘the life of the resurrected is free, pure, luminous, colourful. The timbres of the organ reflect these characteristics’.
Fergal is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where he obtained BA and PhD degrees in music, specialising in the late serial music of Stravinsky. He studied piano with Peter Dains at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, organ with Professor Gerard Gillen at the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin and also attended various scholarship masterclasses in the UK and Belgium. He holds performance and teaching diplomas in both instruments.
As well as performances in Europe he has given solo recitals at most of the major concert venues in Ireland, including the National Concert Hall, the Wexford and Galway Arts Festivals, St. Michael's Church Dún Laoghaire, the Pro-Cathedral Dublin, and Trinity College Chapel. He has additionally appeared as soloist in concerto performances with a number of ensembles, including the RTE National Symphony Orchestra (in the organ symphonies of Marcel Dupré, Camille Saint-Saens and Aaron Copland), and is a former prizewinner of the Dublin International Organ Festival (now Pipeworks). He is much in demand as a vocal and instrumental accompanist.
In additions to his interests in the fields of solo and chamber music, Fergal works regularly with the RTE National Symphony and RTE Concert Orchestras, Chamber Choir Ireland and the RTE Philharmonic Choir.