Iveta Apkalna – Widor & Vierne

Weiwuying's First Solo Organ Album




“Taking the organ to its limits”
After coming to prominence as resident organist of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Iveta Apkalna has most recently been to the Far East, where in 2018 she inaugurated Asia’s largest concert organ in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She has now recorded her new album on the organ at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying). 

It is an impressive instrument: Almost 10,000 pipes in over 120 registers, located in a twin organ. On the right-hand half of the stage is the great symphonic organ, which recreates the aesthetic timbre of the French Romantic style. And on the left there is the smaller “echo organ”, oriented on the German Baroque repertoire. On this new album, Iveta Apkalna has compiled a programme that unites the two organs by placing the focus on the French Romantic style and making a brief foray to the father of organ music, J.S. Bach. 


Charles-Marie WIDOR: Symphony No. 5 in f minor, Op. 42/1
After winning an important competition at the age of 20, she was able to play on what had always been her dream organ, the famous Walcker organ in Riga Cathedral. Iveta Apkalna describes that concert as her baptism as an organist. “That all came back to me when I played the work, I had it in my head the whole time,” she recalls.


Louis Victor VIERNE: Symphony No. 3 in f-sharp minor, Op. 28
“The chromaticism leads into the unknown. You lose your orientation and your balance; Widor is different in that respect,” Iveta Apkalna comments. The form of the organ symphony pioneered by Franck and developed by Widor reaches its apogee with Vierne.


Johann Sebastian BACH "Sheep may safely graze" (from BWV 208)
The closing piece on the album – a tribute to the special twin organ in Kaohsiung and a memory of probably the greatest benchmark for all organists – is by Johann Sebastian Bach, with the famous melody “Sheep may safely graze”.




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