2015 - 2016 SEASON
Dr. Ezequiel Menéndez, Director of Music
Archdiocese of Hartford
For more information about the performers, pieces, and venues,
please click the hyperlinks in the concert descriptions.
Cathedral Campus Map and Parking Information
Here is a review of the American Brass Quintet's recent appearance with Daniel Binelli written by retired organist and scholar Richard Knapp.
Concert for Brass, Organ, and Bandoneón
The Cathedral of Saint Joseph
April 25, 2015
This most recent event in the Sacred Sounds Concert Series, presented by the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Cathedral of Saint Joseph under the overall direction of Ezequiel Menéndez, Cathedral Director of Music and Organist, featured a wide range of music exquisitely performed by the American Brass Quintet, the Cathedral’s land-mark Austin organ, percussion, and a concertina-like instrument never before heard in Hartford, the bandoneón.
The latter instrument was developed by Heinrich Band in the 1840s. Although invented in Germany, it quickly made its way to Argentina and became synonymous with the Argentine tango. The bandoneón is played entirely by buttons rather than keys (melody buttons on the right-hand side, bass-note buttons on the left-hand side). This instrument was first heard in this concert in settings of the Ave Maria by Schubert and Argentinian composers (and bandoneón virtuosi) Aníbal Triolo and Ástor Piazzolla. Later, it appeared in a fascinating new work, Alma Iluminada (Enlightened Soul), composed and played by Argentinian bandoneón virtuoso Daniel Binelli, joined by brass, timpani, percussion and organ, under the baton of Edward Cumming.
The American Brass Quintet flawlessly performed works ranging from Elizabethan consort music through music of the Italian Renaissance, including pieces by Gabrieli and Marenzio, to a delightful contemporary Fantasia and Rondo by Osvaldo Lacerda.
Dr. Menéndez brilliantly performed Choral No. 3 by César Franck and a Toccata by Alberto Ginastera on the Cathedral organ, its sound superb in the Cathedral’s resonant acoustics. All music presented was enthusiastically received by the large audience.
This event reminds one yet again of Hartford’s great good fortune in having the support of Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, his predecessor Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, and Cathedral Rector Msgr. John J. McCarthy for musical events of this caliber, thereby continuing the Church’s great tradition of employing the arts to lift the human soul.
MIGHTY AUSTIN ORGAN SERIES:
ADAM J. BRAKEL, ORGANIST
Friday, September 18, 2015, 7:00 pm
Sacred Sounds is pleased to welcome organist Adam J. Brakel as the first artist scheduled for the 2015 - 2016 Season.
He has been described as "an absolute organ prodigy, with the technique and virtuosity that most concert pianists could only dream of, and of having the potential to be the leading organist of his generation, all while being nicknamed The Franz Liszt of the Organ" (Florida NPR). "The most exciting player to enter the scene in a very long time" (Rebecca Rollet- Pittsburgh Camerata). "One of his country's outstanding talents in classical organ music…not just possessing virtuosity, but a mature empathy remarkable in so young a performer" (The Sequencer, United Kingdom). "He is to be commended for his devotion to the art of performance, and to music itself" (Dame Gillian Weir).
All events are at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT, 06105. There is no admission charge for concerts at the Cathedral, but a free-will offering will be accepted.