Treasured Tunes featuring Andrew Scanlon

Podcast Transcript


Welcome to Treasured Tunes where professors from the East Carolina University School of Music offer commentary about selected musical pieces. Please sit back and enjoy the music.

Andrew Scanlon Speaking

This is Andrew Scanlon. I am the professor of organ and sacred music at the ECU School of Music. I’ve chosen two pieces from the great tradition of 20th century France to perform for you on the organ today. Both composers, Jean Langlais and Maurice Durufle, were inspired by a third composer, Charles Tournemire. Jean Langlais was a pupil of Tournemire and Maurice Durufle was Tournemire’s assistant at Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris. Both of these pieces are connected in their inspiration in some ways by Charles Tournemire. The first piece you will hear is Langlais’ Te Deum, a great and grand hymn of praise and thanksgiving in a three-part form. The first introduces the Gregorian chant theme punctuated with spectacular dissonant chords. The second theme develops further this theme. Then there is a return to the original opening, followed by a very grand ending. The Scherzo by Maurice Durufle is a lighter Impressionistic style piece—scherzo meaning a musical joke. This wonderful piece is much lighter than the Te Deum. In the way that Impressionistic painters tend to paint using small points of light, the music goes by very quickly using a lot of fast notes to create a wonderful palette. I hope you will enjoy these two wonderful pieces.

What do you enjoy about teaching?

I truly love my students and enjoy the challenge of meeting each and every one at their level of ability when they arrive at ECU. I enjoy the very unique profession of the organist and church musician. I enjoy sharing our magnificent instrument and its literature and introducing students to this vast repertoire. I particularly enjoy the little breakthroughs that happen from time to time when a new concept is suddenly embraced and the student begins to move beyond the notes on a page, and expressive music-making results. Even more, I aim to teach in a way that grounds students in the concepts necessary for learning music in an efficient and thorough manner, while still allowing for individual expression.

Music playing Te Deum composed by Jean Te and the Scherzo composed by Maurice Deum (performed by Andrew Langlais)

This has been a production of East Carolina University. To hear more, please visit the Treasured Tunes index.