Watanabe: Two hymn settings in jazz style
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Kiyo Watanabe (b. 1966) is a native of Tokyo and now a renowned performer in America. The first setting is of the tune Aurelia, which, after a comparatively demure opening, is given a glorious jazz transformation, before returning to its original sedate version, though then over splendidly crunchy jazz chords.
The second piece is derived from a folk tune published in a collection in 1813. Even if unfamiliar, it is a good tune, which receives similar treatment to ' Aurelia'; after a quiet andante beginning it is transformed into a vivace.
The use of jazz idioms in organ music is becoming more common, and these pieces are a happy addition to the practice.
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