I attended a faculty recital last evening at Clayton State University, Morrow, Georgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clayton_State_University). The campus is beautiful- it is full of trees and has a nice pond with nicely landscaped roads throughout. It bothers me, however, that the President of the University has to have his name listed as Dr. Thomas J. "Tim" Hynes, Jr. Why the “Tim”. I never have understood that who thing, but I digress.
The recital was by Dr. Daniel Pyle. By the way, I don’t get the whole “Dr.” thing either. Why not a simple “Ph.D.”? Mr. Pyle performed on the Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ. This is no box of whistles, but a wonderful full-throated organ that has some of the lowest notes I have ever felt. The program included works by Bach, Reincken, Schumann, and Persichetti. Mr. Pyle was kind enough to share a bit of musical history about the Bach and Reincken pieces. The Persichetti piece was the outlier in the program. He died in 1987 but not before having influence on his students, such as Philip Glass and Thelonius Monk. I generally like modern composers, but the Sonata played seemed like random (loud) sounds that only an academic could love. But all in all, it was a nice recital, and Pyle seemed up to the task, although there were occasions where he seemed to have some technical difficulties.
The recital took place in Spivey Hall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spivey_Hall). A major feature of this small hall is the Organ which was installed by Fratelli Ruffatti of Italy. The entrance to Spivey Hall reminds me of a Marriott Hotel lobby. It has that fake Queen Anne appearance with mahogany furniture, tapestries, and brass chandeliers. Not my taste- at least not this year. The biggest disappointment to me was the design of the hall itself. As can be seen in my photos (surreptitiously taken before the photo Nazis came) is an insipid Greek-revival, with trompe l’oeil paintings on the organ. While I am sure the benefactors had a lot to say about the design of the hall, it seems like a missed opportunity to design a small contemporary performing space. Oh well, when I give millions to a university to build a vanity building in my name, I will make it so.