Kipp Gill at St. Peter Catholic Cathedral, February 21, 2019.
Gill began with Praeludium in C Major, by Georg Böhm(1661-1733),
one of a few composers who were credited with having been a major
influence on J.S. Bach. It was expressive, with many florid passages,
and played with enthusiasm and attention to articulation (which would
have been referred to as "phrasing" in an earlier generation).
Next was J.S. Bach's (1685-1750) Sonata 6 in G Major (BWV 530), one
of the six trio sonatas intended by Bach to be exercises for his
sons. They all are difficult, and as a result not often heard in
their entirety in recitals, but are brilliant. Each includes three
movements (fast/slow/fast) with a single line for each hand and one
for the feet. In the fast movements there is much imitation among
the three lines, while in the slow movements the right hand line is
often presented as a solo - as it was in this performance, and the
left hand line was perhaps a bit more subdued than it might have been.
Nevertheless the overall effect Gill achieved was astonishingly good.
It was for me the high point of the evening.
Mendelssohn's (1809-1847) Sonata in F Minor Op. 65 No. 1 followed,
about 100 years after Bach; Mendelssohn is credited with having
revived interest in Bach's organ music and having composed several
important organ sonatas of his own. In the F minor Sonata there
are 4 pieces as follows:
I. Allegro moderato e serioso - with intermanual contrasts;
II. Adagio - a familar opening in the tenor octave;
III. Andante recitativo - with a bell-like opening;
IV. Allegro assai vivace - dramatic, with a long crescendo achieved
by adding stops all the way to full organ at the end.
The Andante sostenuto from Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) was next,
with big flute sounds, and relatively slow. It provided - in a sense -
the calm before the storm of the final piece, the Finale from the
Sunday Music of Petr Eben (1929-2007). This began with bubbly
passages (I don't recall ever having used that term in a review
before but it is the best fit for what I heard) in the tenor octave,
then arpeggios, then big chords, then "pulses" in the pedals, all
with considerable dissonance but nevertheless tonal. The effect was of
an extended collage, and toward the end got bigger but somewhat more
tonal and melodic, with all dissonance removed from the final chord.
Here is a quote from a review of Gill's senior recital at MS College
"Kipp Gill at MS College's Provine Chapel, Sunday, April 24, 2016
Gill opened the program with excitement - the Allegro from Widor's 6th organ
symphony. This is a bold piece, and within it is a notoriously difficult
rhythmic passage - an extended set of 2 against 3 (pedal and left hand,
vs the right hand), and Gill's apparently effortless trip through it
provided the first of several high points in the evening."
Tonight's performance fulfilled all of my expectations of Gill, based
on his 2016 recital, and I look forward to hearing him again. Soon!
Glenn A. Gentry
Kipp Gill Biography
Kipp Gill is an organist, pianist. choir director, and piano instructor
originally from Red Banks, MS. He received a B. Mus. from MS College and
is currently a graduate student in Organ Performance at Mercer University.
He serves as Choirmaster at All Saints Episcopal Church in Warner Robins, GA.
He has performed as a soloist in Illinois, Washington DC, Mississippi,
Georgia, & Tennessee. His most recent concert was at Blue Mountain College
in Blue Mountain, MS. He enjoys teaching several piano students of varying
levels and ages. Kipp and his wife Ruthie currently reside in Macon, GA,
with their two dogs Miko and Elvis. In their free time they enjoy exploring
all that Atlanta has to offer and experiencing many of the parks located
throughout Georgia. His next performance will be his masters recital at
Christ Episcopal Church on March 26, 2019, in Macon, GA.