On November 8, 2005, young French organist Vincent Dubois played a recital as part of the Rie Bloomfield Organ Series at Wiedemann Recital Hall, Wichita State University.
I attended his recital last year, and again a most remarkable thing about watching Mr. Dubois play is how effortless he makes it appear. He plays from memory, so there are no scores to fiddle with. He seems totally relaxed, his hands and feet merely skimming and floating over the keys and pedals. Managing the resources of the organ never seems to get in the way of making music, and wonderful music he makes.
This recital lasted fully two hours including an encore. It was attended by the largest audience I have seen for an organ recital at Wiedemann Recital Hall.
One piece Mr. Dubois played was the C-sharp minor prelude by Rachmaninoff, transcribed for organ by Louis Vierne. To me, this piece, one of the most famous in the piano repertoire, is so closely associated with that instrument that it was somewhat bizarre to hear it on organ.
Mr. Dubois played a piece titled Evocation II by the French organist and composer Thierry Escaich. This was an exciting, contemporary, virtuosic piece that prompted an outcry from at least one audience member at its end.
As the last piece, Mr. Dubois improvised on a theme. The improvisations are amazing. Last year he improvised a prelude and fugue on a submitted theme. This year the improvisation was what I would describe as a prelude.