Organizer: Odense Internationale Orgelfestival
There are fantastically many things I know nothing about.That's just how it is. I've learnt to live with it and instead of fretting, tried to make it a source of curiosity and admiration towards the people who are actually in the know. One of those things is the pipe organ and the music it produces. It's an absolutely insane instrument, which Mozart apparently termed 'the queen of instruments'. You can't get a more pompous moniker. I love it!
I don't know much more than that, really. I've listened to quite a bit of classical music at this point, but organ music seems to have subtly eluded me. In my defence: 1) it's important to take baby steps in any field. 2) I don't have the faintest idea of where to start. I have, for example, heard and been fond of Saint Saëns' 3rd Symphony, which has some lovely snippets of organ music, but hardly enough to make up a concert.
Luckily, there are passionate people who have made a plan for all of us who remain uninitiated, but organ-curious. Because in just a little while - the 24th to 31st October, to be precise - Odense International Organ Festival will commence. It is produced in partnership by Odense Churches and Odense Symphony (and their great big organ with 46 stops, built by the world's premiere organ manufacturer, Marcussen & Son.) Concerts, cross-over collaborations, masterclasses, organ tours for kids and even some big names on the poster; Olivier Latry, Daniel Zaretsky, Thomas Trotter and many more.
I think it's difficult to spotlight any one concert - on account of my own ignorance of the genre - but I've had my ear out and I'm extra excited to hear Guy Poupart in Munkebjerg Church and David Zaretsky in Ansgar's Church.
Aside from the music, there's the added bonus of having a good excuse to visit the city's churches. Regardless of faith or lack thereof, there are statistically too few locals who know their own town's churches. But with music this fantastic, there's a perfect opportunity for their beautiful spaces and acoustics to be enjoyed.
If you, like me, are totally clueless about the organ and organ music, which is totally normal, I can recommend this video, which I got a lot out of. It will tell you about both the instrument and its history in an easily digestible manner, which suited me just fine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzpZRV9Cmac&fbclid=IwAR06jtjQpM19naLTOT943RPs3PO8RdR18RB8s-AbaCxRr3Xwo4glmHCMAmA
Link to the event