Kronach – never before heard in germany and europe presented the second concert of the 10. International organ cycle in kronach. Naji hakim and his wife marie-bernadette dufourcet-hakim had traveled from paris with a european premiere among other things. The visitors experienced a concert full of splendor in every respect in the very well attended christus church.
Accompanied by the reussian chamber orchestra and conducted by deanery cantor marius popp, a musical event full of opulence was heard, the kind of music one would expect to hear more in large cities. The world’s most esteemed composer and organist naji hakim loved – as a german and european premiere – his concert nr. 5 while his wife played the famous organ concerto in g minor by francis poulenc (1899 – 1963).
Dufourcet-hakim delivered a driving interpretation of the concerto in seven interlocking movements as a grand soloist on the organ. In perfectly coordinated interplay with the orchestra and under the finely nuanced direction of dean cantor marius popp, she turned the piece into a delightful journey through the composer’s emotional world. Through virtuosity and rough design skills, she succeeded in convincingly combining the contrasts of the melodically rich composition.
Naji hakim, born in 1955 in beirut, presented himself in kronach as an artist who has won many awards. The "sound wizard" is known to the loyal kronach audience from the world premiere "the12 apostles – meditations on single-leaf woodcuts by lucas cranach d. A." Known as a commissioned composition for the 150th anniversary of the christus church. From 1985 to 1993 he was first organist of the basilique du sacre-coeur, paris and until 2008 organist of the L’eglise de la trinite in the succession of olivier messiaen. This outstanding artist was another guest in the small town of kronach on sunday.
In his introduction, the dean almost seemed unable to believe it himself. The same also applies to the continuation of the now already 10. International organ cycle. According to popp, dean dorothea richter deserves a great deal of thanks for financing these concerts, which would not have been possible without her great affinity for church music. From the very beginning it was a matter of great concern to him that the participating soloists interpret works from their home countries. After the construction of a further manual, the steinmeyer organ is now virtually predestined for the special french sound.
He was very happy about the german and european premiere of hakims 5. Concerto for organ, strings and timpani, which has only been performed once before, in november of last year in beirut. "Today we will hear music that has never been heard in this church before", marius popp was proud.
Before the european premiere, hakim thrilled the audience with a full-toned, fulminant improvisation. Under his hands the elemental sound power of the gentle romantic instrument could fully unfold – from the lovely light and sparkling play to the mighty chords, which sometimes made time and space in the christuskirche forgotten.
Still completely captivated by this musical experience, the audience went on to the german and european premiere of the concerto, which was structured classically in three movements. His own composition – with orchestration paying homage to francis poulenc – demanded a high degree of virtuosity from the organist as well as from the excellent chamber orchestra. Wonderful also the cooperation with the excellent timpanist at the five rough concert timpani.
It is music that comes from deep in the heart and speaks to the heart of the listener. For this there were minutes of standing ovations from the audience and a heartfelt and moving encore.