Widor & Vierne (Iveta Apkalna at the Weiwuying Concert Hall) Iveta Apkalna

Album info



Label: Berlin Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: Iveta Apkalna

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), Charles-Marie Widors (1844-1937)

Album including Album cover


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  • Charles-Marie Widor (1844 - 1937): Organ Symphony No.5, Op. 42 No. 1:
  • 1Organ Symphony No.5, Op. 42 No. 1: I. Allegro vivace11:16
  • 2Organ Symphony No.5, Op. 42 No. 1: II. Allegro cantabile07:52
  • 3Organ Symphony No.5, Op. 42 No. 1: III. Andantino quasi allegretto07:02
  • 4Organ Symphony No.5, Op. 42 No. 1: IV. Adagio05:42
  • 5Organ Symphony No.5, Op. 42 No. 1: V. Toccata05:39
  • Louis Vierne (1870 - 1937): Organ Symphonie No.3, Op. 28:
  • 6Organ Symphonie No.3, Op. 28: I. Allegro maestoso07:11
  • 7Organ Symphonie No.3, Op. 28: II. Cantilène05:57
  • 8Organ Symphonie No.3, Op. 28: III. Intermezzo04:17
  • 9Organ Symphonie No.3, Op. 28: IV. Adagio07:45
  • 10Organ Symphonie No.3, Op. 28: V. Final06:03
  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750):
  • 11Schafe können sicher weiden (Arr. for Organ)05:05
  • Total Runtime01:13:49

Info for Widor & Vierne (Iveta Apkalna at the Weiwuying Concert Hall)

After Iveta Apkalna released her album 'Light and Dark' - the world premiere recording of the organ of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie - at Berlin Classics in autumn 2018, her paths led her to the other side of the world for her new album 'Widor & Vierne'. The first single 'Sheep May Safely Graze' offers a glimpse of this exciting journey.

Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan is not only Asia's largest cultural centre, but also the largest concert organ in Asia. In the concert hall of the 'National Kaohsiung Center of the Arts (Weiwuying)' she expands the organ of the Bonn-based organ builder Klais and directly plays a repertoire that is close to her heart: Charles-Marie Widor's 5th Organ Symphony and the 3rd Organ Symphony by Louis Vierne. As a foretaste of these two classics of symphonic organ music, she publishes the forefather of organ music, Johann Sebastian Bach, and an arrangement of the famous aria 'Sheep May Safely Graze' from the Jagdkantate, BWV 208.

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’s Fifth Symphony in F minor takes the organist back to her student days and a very special solo recital that made a dream come true. 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.

The second part of her programme features Vierne’s Third Organ Symphony. “Vierne’s language sounds more modern,” says Iveta Apkalna of this music, “it is technically more ambitious, it is harder to sing and bring out the levels of his music.” Where harmony is concerned, Vierne’s chromatic passages are a prominent feature that is lacking in Widor, whose clear tonal language was soon regarded as dated in the 20th century. “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.

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”. Here too, Iveta Apkalna reflects: “It is like a woman who makes herself chic, but feels ill at ease because she has forgotten her perfume. Bach is my perfume, he makes me feel complete.”

Iveta Apkalna, organ

Iveta Apkalna
Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna is considered one of the leading instrumentalists in the world. Starting from 2017 she serves as the titular organist of the Klais organ at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany – Hamburg's new cultural landmark and one of the most exciting structural projects in Europe. The January 2017 opening offerd two world premieres: Wolfgang Rihm's Triptychon und Spruch in memoriam Hans Henny Jahnn with Thomas Hengelbrock and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Jörg Widmann's ARCHE with Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg.

Iveta has performed with a number of the world's top orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has collaborated with renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Mariss Jansons, Marek Janowski, Kent Nagano, Thomas Hengelbrock, Sir Antonio Pappano and Andris Nelsons and frequently appeared at the Lucerne, Lockenhaus, Bremen, Halle Georg Friedrich Händel, Ludwigsburg Castle, Schwetzinger, and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals.

Recent engagements include a recital in Disney Hall and the debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, as well as concerts in China's most prestigious halls such as the NCPA Beijing and the Shanghai Symphony Hall.

Throughout her career, Iveta Apkalna has earned international recognition for honours and competitions. She was appointed a cultural ambassador of Latvia by receiving the "Excellence Award in Culture 2015" from the Latvian Ministry of Culture. In March 2018 she received the "Latvian Grand Music Award" as "Musician of the Year" and in the category "Concert of the Year", the most prestigious award in music in Latvia. Iveta Apkalna became the first organist to receive the title of "Best Performing Artist" award at the 2005 ECHO Klassik. French-German TV network ARTE broadcasted in 2008 a documentary about her entitled "Dancing with the Organ". In 2003 she received the first prize and four additional special prizes in the International M. Tariverdiev Organ Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia. In 2002 she advanced to the world finals of the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Competition in Canada and received the prestigious Johann Sebastian Bach Prize. Iveta studied piano and organ at J. Vitols Latvian Academy of Music and continued her studies at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the National Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Stuttgart.

She is dedicated to contemporary music and performs works of Naji Hakim, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Arturs Maskats or Thierry Escaich. Together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam she has presented the world premiere of "Multiversum", a commissioned composition of Péter Eötvös, on an extensive Europe tour.

Born in Rēzekne, Latvia, Iveta has made it her mission to bring the splendour of organ music beyond church walls and into concert halls. She currently lives in Berlin and in Riga.

This album contains no booklet.

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