The Sheboygan Press from Sheboygan, Wisconsin on April 8, 1970 · Page 12
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The Sheboygan Press from Sheboygan, Wisconsin · Page 12

Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 8, 1970
Page 12
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12 ShLLiLYGA:; Ir LLSt, Wednesday, April S, 1970 Ovations For Lakeland Series Topper.,, :f"' 1 '- 'I fH5'f i r 1 41 Virgil Fox Concert A Stunner nimui ,, i lini mn mum mtimuvntmane n nnnriHim M&l A MEMORABLE CONCERT in the Lakeland College Fine Arts Series brought Virgil Fox, world-famous organist, to Koh-ler Memorial Theater where a capacity crowd gave the performer several standing ovations following a thrilling program of organ masterpieces. The 56-rank, $65,000 electronic organ of Fox's own design is in the background. Fox, a colorful as well as musically impeccable artist, donned the red-lined cape for the post-concert reception. FREE GIFT OPEN FRIDAY! mm PRICE nnilORRE iwtKARlOFT "COMEDYof TERRORS llvrw ri I t" A 1st, 1 v- Peter Cushing "THE BRIDES of DRACULA" JOAN CRAWFORD. Hgir. Allan IWi I I V Jl Jl I I '- va lj w STARTING AT POPULAR PRICES! COHTIfiUOUS PERFORMANCES! , , V. UONELBTS OF n ALL THE STARS! ALL THE SPECTACLE! ALL THE SONGS! J'm PICTURE JVP Direct f winner f from its long-run 1 f 6 1 I roadshow I I acad em y I Engagements! R0fl M00O 01MR REED HWSECOME Kagn' as BISKS' as&Mr SHANIWUSw wi TXfptd tvWRK LESTER HeArtUtbtftiedtyJWWlD (totes (Mere lUrdSijBvOTTdfiarieOTertbyJOW(HIN OnEtanJISeOBtesbyOflWWfE Praductoi (feM) by JO fJ BCK Pwlisdto DrecMt SSu& JOHNVTOLF CWLREED rmwiioimar ( c SuggMttd for GENERAL (uditncti. PERFORMANCES Tonight, Thursday and Friday 6:30 and 9:15 Saturday 1:30-6:30 & 9:15 PRICES ADULTS $1.75 STUDENTS $1.25 CHILDREN UNDER 12 75c FOR SPECIAL GROUP RATES OR SHOWINGS CALL 452-7071 By SHIRLEY JARVIS Press Staff Writer Awe" is not a word to toss around lightly. But today it seems to be the only word adequate to describe the reaction to Virgil Fox at Kohler Memorial Theater Tuesday night. A packed house stood again and again, cheering and clapping, as the crowd insisted on three encores that gave the night its stunning climax. The Lakeland College Fine Arts Series set a new high with the organist's superb concert; the only audience response that even comes close goes as far back as the Rafael Mcndcz triumph some years ago. Finally, Virgil Fox simply stood in the spotlight, his arms outspread, and let the applause roll out. But that wasn't the end hundreds swarmed up front to check the electronic outlay that produced those fantastic effects 14 speakers housed in bunkerlike structures spread the full width of the hall just below the stage. And then, up to the magnificent 56-bank Rodgers organ, black ebony and banks of white stops on a "throne" of vivid red. The technician who travels with Fox told the entranced crowds that the outlay includes 10 channels of amplification, each employing 100 watts of power. The real "power," though, was in the artist's strong hands, in that great mind and heart, in the long legs and the feet in the shiniest black patent leather shoes we've ever seen and in the Bach and the Wagner and the Ives and the Faure master-j pieces that filled the hall with j majestic beauty. j They crowded around Fox at1 the organ where he sat later, wearing for the post-concert reception a long, flowing cape lined in red that had the practical DuiDOse of keeping the "wringing wet" organist from catching pneumonia. Charms Crowd And then the crowds and Fox moved into the Kohler gym for a reception that turned into a marathon autographing session, Fox signing his final recording more than an hour later. But in that hour, he made as big a hit as he did at the console earlier grasping hands firmly, looking intently at each fan. "I like to look into your eyes I've seen my name before," he said as he charmed young and old. All through the post-concert hour, he fascinated listeners with his talk about music, about future events, about the people of his world just as he had delighted the audience earlier with his warm, helpful comments on the music. "Turn 'er up full blast and listen from the next room," he advised as he handed back signed recordings. Once he stopped the post-concert session abruptly to embrace two old friends from Milwaukee the Rev. and Mrs. John Baumgartner of Capitol Drive Lutheran Church. They had come to catch the concert of this man who had so triumphantly appeared in their international artist series. Lawrence Conservatory students and teachers were among several groups attending from some distance. Old and young came shyly, almost speechless in admiration, to shake the organist's hand and say, "I never heard anything like it before. The only regret we heard all evening came from those who said, "I wish I could hear him on a real pipe organ." While the fantastic portable instrument that Fox played here was the closest thing to pipe organ that many of the knowl-e d g e a b 1 e connoisseurs had heard, the limitations were noted. But they were so com pletely overshadowed by Fox's; genius that all concerned were quite willing to let them go by the board. Stands by Changes This man casts a spell that won't quickly rub off those who heard him at Kohler. Fox himself says, "I have always preferred pipes and I always shall. But the electronics are getting better and better and I'm not about to negate the accomplishments of the last 300 years, as the purists do." "It's time the organ came out from behind the church woodwork, time it came out of a hole in the floor. It's a concert in- ature's acknowledged giants strument too," said the man who had just proved it mag nificently. He was impatient with purists who accept the changes of the years in every instrument of the orchestra, but deny the same leeway for the organ. Next year, he will perform his concerts on a dramatically enlarged concert instrument a 156-rank organ he is designing currently with Rodgers. That's three times the ranks he now uses. "Twice the beauty and twice the sensitivity," he says of the new instrument. The instrument at Kohler last night would have a market value of $65,000; he didn't put a price tag on the new organ which is now at the final drawing stage. Mastery Clear Virgil Fox, the man, threatens to overshadow, Virgil Fox, organist. That takes some doing, however. For the man's mastery, his sensitivity and his meticulous Bach's A minor fueue. for ex ample, Reubke's C minor sonata on the 94th Psalm and the encore that still reverberates, we're sure, at Kohler Mould's "Thou Art the Rock." He caressed the Bach adagio (A minor), made it warm and real and meaningful; the A minor fugue, though, thundered through the hall as intensity upon intensity built to musical climax, Fox's fingers like pistons as the four musical lines merged horizontally and vertically "making sense," as he told us. Technique Impecable ... Then he shifted to the exquisite Pierne prelude and cantilene ending in the vivid scherzando, the perfection of the phrases lu minous in the night, the eyes of every listener giuea to tnose quick feet, those lightning-touch ed fingers. Technique? You don't even bring up the subject. It's simply there and not oy rairs an hour a day for years," he told a questioner, advising him to "play everything great in piano" before turning to care with each new effect, each chance by hard work. 'For developing phrase of organ liter-1 four years, I played nothing but TEEN DANCE THURSDAY, April 9 8:30 to 12:30 Music By THE RAW MEAT "Follow the crowd . . . where the action is" CTAFAIMItT'O1 SPACIOUS BALLROOM OlUtlmlUl 0 CLEVELAND. WIS. EUGENE and JEAN STOECKIGT, Propi. PHONE 493-3245 organ. A man who believes in "organ music with guts" would have outstanding command of the pedals. And Fox, brilliant in this department again and again last night, put the cap on it with the encore, "Perpetual Motion for Pedal Only," by one of his teachers, Middleshute a fantastic exercise that brought the audience to its feet as one person. Fox never looked down as magic poured out of those shiny black patent slippers. "Part of Instrument" The Wagner fanfares were electrifying as well as electronic masterpieces; the Ives "musical joke," (Variations on "America") glowed with humor and the Faure "Libera Me" had such yearning, throbbing beauty that you didn't know whether to weep or cheer. It was doubly meaningful after Fox said that he had played it for the funeral of his friend, the great Amcri- four can sculptress, Malvina Hoff- man. One organist said after the concert, "He seemed to be part of the Instrument." And this was true hands flying over three manuals and the banks of stops, feet quick on pedal and swell, he was an extension of the organ. But the technicalities of the instrument never got in the way of the powerful emotion upon which the music moved, or its compelling rhythm. Even with that display of electronic devices in full view, the music was in the spotlight along with the man who created it at the ebony console. What is most remarkable is that Fox's showmanship and what's wrong with that plus his musicianship and that captivating warmth made two hours of solid organ fly by. "World's greatest" were only words on a publicity flyer until we heard Virgil Fox. Now we believe it, along with hundreds of new fans who will be waiting impatiently for his next appearance in these parts. Hurry back, Virgil Fox. hyiKIHIKKIIKJi NOW SHOWING mUL NEWMAN ROBERT BEDFORD KATKAfUNS ROSS. BUTCH CASSIDV AND THE SUNDANCE KID c7,7 AND ciNtuir.rox ffiit If 1 I e&eaPnmeqf ff WisstJcan'lirodic x Sears 1 7T T IXlQDOiP 7A Sheboygan's Leading Nursery Stock Center SHOW TIME SHEBOYGAN Tonight Oliver 6:30-9:15 WISCONSIN Tonight Cassldy 5:55-9:40 Jean 7:50 PLYMOUTH Tonight O'Farrell 6:30-9:55 Lem 8:10 BIG TEEN DANCE THURS., April 9 7:30 to 11:30 P.M. NO SCHOOL FRIDAY Sheboygan Armory 3 BANDS "THE MUSIC FOUNDATION" "THE FREE" and "THE DAWN" Donation $1.50 Well Chaperoned : WmimmiM - Seor$ Wl(le Vnvvv-SJ VMfiWiMtS Selection Includes . . . , X iJfMI PFamidal Greek Juniper .. ... &frK&i x "- :..;::.- Ma i'!, jWJ? 1. list V 3 -SOfcWi? Pyramidal Yev 15"-18" 5f YEW l8"-24" . $12.9? 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