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Two organs! Two choirs! One fabulous — and free — concert!

The organ at Notre Dame
The organ at Notre Dame

Feb. 11, 2014 / Sarasota — With the music of two organs and the singing of two choirs, the Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., in downtown Sarasota, will present a free concert showcasing Louis Vierne's "Messe Solenelle" and Charles-Marie Widor's "Mass for Two Organs and Two Choirs," on Sun., Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. The evening's performance will surround the audience with the sounds of these masses written specifically for two organs, as the choirs of Redeemer and St. Boniface Church — nearly 100 voices combined — lend their combined vocal talents to the works of master Parisian organ composers Widor and Vierne. Organists Ann Stephenson-Moeof Redeemer and Neil Page of St. Boniface will perform on Redeemer's magnificent 50-stop Nichols & Simpson pipe organ and a second organ brought in for the event.

"The audience will be impressed with the majesty of the sound and presence of the two organs," said Stephenson-Moe. "They will be surrounded by choir and organ sounds from every direction."

"Louis Vierne and Charles Marie Widor were two of the greatest French composers of the late 19th and 20th centuries," said Stephenson-Moe. "Both organists served in their famous positions for almost a half century, and both upgraded and uplifted organ music two a new level of popularity. Louis Vierne died on the organ bench in 1937, but not before he made the Catholic Church of Notre Dame one of the most famous churches in the world. And that fame was largely due to  the masterful playing and improvisations that Vierne produced on a daily basis."

The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be taken to help defray costs. For more information, visit redeemersarasota.org or call 941-955-4263.

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