Nathan J. Laube Portrait

Back Home Again in Indiana

Theatre Organ - Journal of the American Theatre Organ Society

By Don Feely

10/01/14


http://www.atos.org

Back Home Again in Indiana

 

Don Feely

 

Excerpted from the complete review of the 2014 National Convention of the American Theatre Organ Society in Indianapolis

 

...After a quick bite at the hotel we jumped onto buses again, this time for the short trip to St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Nathan Laube at the 4/90 Casavant Organ.  Nathan is well-known in the classical organ world and teaches at the Eastman School of Music in New York.  His performance for the convention-goers today would be all transcriptions.

 

Opening with the overture to Die Fledermaus, we were treated to a symphonic smorgasbord.  Nathan's control of tempo and phrasing was breathtaking, as was evident in every piece he performed.  He followed with Variations Serieuses, Op. 54 by Felix Mendelssohn.  The building of each variation from one to the next was handled deftly and Nathan's registration brought out the unique characteristics of each.  Acting as orchestrator and performer is not an easy task, but with dynamic contrasts that went from a whisper to a roar, the organ obliged the will of Mr. Laube.  Listening to such superb musicianship was pure joy, and it would be difficult to describe the emotional impact conveyed by this stellar artist.

 

Other highlights in the first half included the overture from William Tell, which featured articulation and clarity so exceptional that the audience brought him back twice to the stage for bows before they were ready to head to intermission.  

 

The second half included works by Brahms and Liszt.  The masterful performances featured such captivating registrations and dynamic energy that the organist easily held rapt the attention of all ATOS members present.  The huge standing ovation at the conclusion showed the power that this music, when performed by a consumate musician, can have on even the most pop-music-oriented ATOS member.  It was a highlight of the convention.  

 

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