In 2018 the organ is back to stay, receiving top billing on the festival programme. The new series Organ plus…, curated by Klaus Kuchling, the cathedral organist of Klagenfurt, the complete range of possibilities in organ music is explored on three highly diverse concert evenings. Kuchling has been the cathedral organist of the regional capital since 1992. He teaches organ at the Carinthia State Conservatory, and also worked at the University of Music and Performing Arts from 1998 to 2012. The enormous range of his repertory is reflected in CD and live broadcast recordings. Two things are particularly important to him: original performances of contemporary music as well as cooperation with other art forms (dance, performance). As a soloist, duo partner and jury member in organ competitions he has travelled throughout Europe and and beyond.
The organ is different because, more than with any other instrument, performers are called upon to re-create every composition according to the organ they are playing. They are all different, there are no two identical organs. Moreover, the impact of the surrounding space is particularly important in an organ recital. Getting to know different organs and sounds thus also means exploring the many colours of music for organ.
In his first recital within the new series, Klaus Kuchling will present the smallest organ, the portable box organ or positive, as an integral part of the basso continuo group in baroque music. Soprano Cornelia Horak, Klaus Kuchling and a chamber ensemble will present Händel’s Nine German Arias and new compositions by Margareta Ferek-Petric, Artist in Residence of the Carinthian Summer Festival of 2018 at the baroque Abbey Church of Ossiach. In the Prelude! talk about the concert, Klaus Kuchling and Margareta Ferek-Petric will share their views about this interesting juxtaposition of baroque and contemporary music.
The parish church of St. Jakob in Villach (Stadtpfarrkirche St. Jakob Villach) will host the encounter between moving pictures and church organ. Originally, the blend was not quite as surprising as it appears to be today: In the early days of cinematic art, silent movies were often accompanied by music played on so-called cinema or theatre organs. Instruments produced by the Wurlitzer, Welte & Söhne and Rieger companies were used in all big movie theatres up until the 1940ies. The Villach event will bring the great old art of organ improvisation back to fruition. The silent movie Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise) by Manfred Noa, dating from 1922, the first ever screen adaptation of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s play, will be accompanied by improvised organ music. Wolfgang Seifen, who teaches at the Berlin University of the Arts, is one of the leading experts in this field.
The new series Organ plus… will end with a highlight – a recital of French star organist Olivier Latry, who will play an exquisite programme at the Cathedral of Klagenfurt.