Jacobs School announces Spring Recital on the Metz Carillon
The Indiana University School of Music is pleased to announce a carillon recital by John Gouwens, Organist and Carillonneur of the Indiana Culver Academies. The program - open to the public - will be presented on Saturday, April 3, at 1:00 P.M. on the Arthur Metz Carillon off of North Jordan Avenue, on the IU campus in Bloomington. The Metz Carillon has 61 bells, ranging in weight from 27 pounds to more than 3 tons.
Shortly after the recital, John Gouwens will invite the public up into the tower for a short tour and demonstration of the instrument. The recital will last approximately one hour. Printed programs, with much information about the music as well as the performer and instrument, will be available at the base of the tower.
John Gouwens has been a regular guest carillon recitalist at Indiana University, and he is involved as a consultant for the ongoing care of the university's carillons. Gouwens has performed extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and Europe.
The April 3 program will feature examples of music from the carillon repertoire from several periods, beginning with two selections written by professors from the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium. The Mechelen school was the first to offer formal instruction in all aspects of the carillon (playing, composing, arranging, etc.), and three of Indiana University's past carillonneurs are graduates of that institution. The earlier, rather theatrical Mechelen style is represented in the opening piece, a "Ballade" by Jef Rottiers, written in 1951. A more recent example included in the program is the lovely "Modal Nocturne," which leans in a French impressionistic direction, written by Geert D'hollander, who currently teaches carillon performance and composition.
The baroque period is represented with compositions by 17th-century Dutch carillonneur Jacob van Eyck and 18th-century Flemish carillonneur Matthias van den Gheyn. Two arrangements are also included in the program. The first, Gouwens's own setting of the Neapolitan love song, "Non ti scordar di me," brings a lighter touch to the program. The second is a literal transcription of the beguiling "Dorian Chorale" for organ by French composer Jehan Alain.
Three American carillon compositions show Gouwens's particular affinity for that repertoire. The first is a bold "Sonata," written in 1956 by pianist-composer Roy Hamlin Johnson. This pioneering piece combines traditional sonata form with the octatonic scale, the latter used in conjunction with serial techniques. This landmark piece in the evolution of the carillon still stands as one of the masterpieces in the repertoire. Also included is the sole carillon composition by George Crumb, "Easter Dawning." Crumb's remarkably fresh perspective in writing for the instrument produced a piece that is quite unique in the repertoire, which is performed often by the leading carillonneurs in Europe as well as the US.
The program will finish with one of Gouwens's own compositions, "Prelude, Adagio, and Fugue." This piece was awarded first prize in a competition held by the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen. It is dramatic and virtuosic at times, but also has some lyrical sections, highlighting the range of capabilities of both performer and instrument.