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Organist Jones In Lecture/recital

September 10, 1986|JOHN HENKEN

Joyce Jones opened the Discovery Series on Monday evening at El Camino College with an organ lecture/demonstration. Unfortunately, Marsee Auditorium does not have an organ.

Enter electronics.

The delicate shudders of purists notwithstanding, electronic organs are probably the simplest way to get an intimation of the power and glory of the real thing in a large hall. But it should be borne in mind that the three-manual Rodgers instrument Jones played is really a synthesizer. Consoles may come and go, and actions change radically, but the sound of an organ is in its pipes.

Jones confided that she grew up in ignorance of the organ, believing it a modern instrument. That belief is still evident in her fondness for the harpsichord stop, or the harp stop which she classified as percussion. Such things are well outside the tradition of the classical pipe organ.

On Sunday Jones played two recitals in Carmel, and Monday afternoon at El Camino she gave a duplicate of her evening program. Therefore, fatigue was understandable, but replacing Liszt's Fantasia and Fugue on "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam" with Robert Elmore's Rumba was not a fair trade.

This left Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D, BWV 532--an early work, contrary to Jones' statement--and Vivaldi's Concerto in A minor, which Bach arranged (BWV 593), as the only substantial pieces on her program. She took them quickly but none too neatly, and with scant regard for period style.

Johann Nepomuk David's "Lobe den Herren" Toccata revealed a tendency to rush into uneven stuttering, particularly in pedal passages. A Batalla by Cabanilles and Ives' Variations on "America" were cleaner. She grouped an arrangement of Bach's "Sheep may safely graze," her own improvisation on the Japanese folk song "Aka tonbo" and Myron Roberts' "Pastorale and Aviary" into an effective solo-stop display.

Jones is clearly from the Virgil Fox school of showmanship, with gold shoes and lighting changes. Her genial, slightly giddy talk suffered most from oversimplification and generalization. She offered "Edelweiss" and an extraordinarily messy "Flight of the Bumble-Bee" pedal solo in encore.

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