The cultural association, “Ars in Cathedrali”, presents the 10th edition of its traditional summer festival with a programme of eight weekly organ concerts.
They take place in Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral in Brussels every Tuesday at 8pm, from July 12 to August 30.
The 2022 festival combines a new and old repertoire and features internationally renowned artists of Belgian, Dutch, French and Japanese nationality.
A concert dedicated to Xavier Deprez with pieces for organ, voice and choir is new along with music by Pierre Slinckx, for organ and electronics. Also new this year is work by composers Michaël Kamen (USA) and Craig Philips (UK) in the Organ Pipes and Brassery Bells concert.
The 350th anniversary of Heinrich Schütz’s death will be commemorated this year. There will be recitals by Johann-Sebastian Bach and also featured is the German Romanticism of Mendelssohn, Liszt Franck and Reger.
The organist of the Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule and co-organizer of this 10th festival, Xavier Deprez, commented: “If Johann-Sebastian Bach is the reference musician of the organ, this instrument was played before and after his time. This year, over the course of our eight summer concerts, we are hosting ancient and contemporary works performed by magnificent artists and ensembles from Europe and Asia.”
Dean of the Cathedral, Father Benoit Lobet, explains: “Our festival reminds music lovers of the power and beauty of the church organ. We are pleased to be able to host this tenth edition of the festival in the cathedral of the European capital, and hope that the audience will be even larger than in other years.”
The Cathedral of St Michael and Gudule actually has three organs. The most impressive is hung in the nave. Built in 2000 by Gerhard Grenzing, it has three sideboards: the central body with the console and the four keyboards, flanked on either side of the pedal turrets. It is placed in a swallow’s nest and weighs nearly 30 tonnes. The location is ideal from an acoustic point of view because the organ benefits from the vault, which reflects the sound downwards, as well as the wall in front of the sideboards.
All the concerts will be performed on this organ.
The second organ is a “Collon” from 1977. It is located in the Choir where more intimate concerts are given.The third is a small positive organ, also by Patrick Collon (1973), with a single manual keyboard. He will perform at the first concert, in parallel with the Grenzing organ.
The origin of the organ dates back hundreds of years. It was Ctesibios, a Greek engineer living in Alexandria, who first had the idea of designing a compression machine to replace human breath and make wind instrument sounds.
It was not until the 13th century that the abbreviation and the keypad appeared, which evolved through a series of successive musical inventions towards the current modern keyboard.
18€/person for concerts on 12/7 & 30/8
14€/person for concerts on 19/7-26/07-2/8-9/8-16/8 -23/8
Free for children under 18 years old.
The doors of the Cathedral open at 19:15.
Subject to covid-19 measures in force.