Baltimore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists
Enriching lives through organ and choral music


Thierry Mechler in Review


Contributed by Wm. Glenn Osbourne, Director of Music, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen

On Friday evening, November 16, Thierry Mechler presented a concert of French music at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. The program included works by Rameau, Fauré, Ravel, Debussy, and Poulenc. Virtually all the pieces were transcriptions of works for piano or harpsichord. Mr. Mechler did a brilliant job of adapting them to the organ. By using the full range of resources available to him at the Cathedral organ, he turned the pieces into orchestral works.  He used a multitude of solo and ensemble colors and progressed smoothly from soft whispers to furious fortes.

The next morning in Griswold Hall at Peabody, Mr. Mechler gave a masterclass on improvisation. He worked with three volunteers (Dalaie Choi, Jordan Prescott, and Glenn Osborne) to cover beginning, intermediate and more advanced improvisation ideas. For beginning improvisation, he stressed simplicity and freedom so the student can be inspired and develop a positive attitude towards improvising.  As a student acquires more skill, more specific tasks and more complicated forms can be tackled.  Even as an improvisation teacher and the advanced student for the class, I came away with items to practice.  (Watch my time on the bench on Youtube:

Mr. Mechler gave a fabulous concert and masterclass for the chapter, and as host for one of the venues, I’d like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the chapter for inviting him.

Many thanks to Glenn Osborne and the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for hosting our November program. It was a splendid evening. Thanks also to Sean O’Connor for creating the programs and arranging the lodging for Thierry Mechler. For those who attended the Saturday improvisation masterclass, you can email Daniel Aune to receive copies of the examples that were used.

Louis Gephardt