CRITIC’S CORNER COLUMNIST
A senior sacred music major performed his senior organ recital at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on March 1 to a crowd of friends, family, faculty and music lovers.
William Spinnenweber performed a selection of pieces from all different eras, exhibiting a wide range of skills and communicating to the audience the beauty of the organ and the excellence of his education in Franciscan University of Steubenville’s sacred music department.
“Music is a forgotten but necessary facet to the liberal arts. Our music program exists precisely to contribute to our humanities, theology, philosophy and mathematics programs,” said Spinnenweber.
Spinnenweber’s self-proclaimed favorite piece of his performance, his concluding Symphony No. 3 in F sharp minor by Louis Vierne, took the audience through a journey of struggle, pain, hope and triumph as Spinnenweber proved his skill through successful management of the substantial work.
His sense of triumph at finishing his last organ recital of his undergraduate education was felt by the audience through his opening with William Mathais’ “Processional.” His love of the beauty of the liturgy and the edification of meditation were shown in his subsequent performances “Toccata per l’Elevazione” from the “Messa della Madonna” by Girolamo Frescobaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, among others.
The recital also provided evidence for the skill within Franciscan’s sacred music department. Senior voice major Matt Wagner said, “this recital … is really a work of scholarship and quality musicianship befitting of a larger institution” and “shows that the program is really growing in a way which is healthy and … befitting of Franciscan’s academic reputation.”
At the reception following the performance, Spinnenweber expressed relief at the eight–month project being completed but said, “To give such a treasure is the greatest way for me to educate and evangelize our university.”
Audiences followed the performance closely with provided programs that gave the history of the composers and an explanation of their works.
Freshman Rachel Durbin said, “Reading the information along while listening … added so much more … depth and … insight that made the experience all the more rich.”