“When you enter the church, there is an ambiance. You can feel it. It’s quite rare to find a church like this in the U.S. It inspires.”
Notre Dame Cathedral organist Vincent Dubois, quoted, played at Saint Ann Catholic Church in honor of its 150th Anniversary on Tuesday, March 26th. The youngest of three titular organists at Paris’ most well known cathedral joined such world renowned organists as Thomas Murray, Jane Parker-Smith, John Scott, and Ken Cowan in playing what is considered one of DC’s finest organs.
But it is not Dubois’ first time playing this organ. The one time he played St. Ann’s organ before, in 2008, he had not yet been appointed Titular Organist at Notre Dame — a coveted honor.
“I have a good memory of this instrument, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play it again,” he shared before the musical performance. “I remember a generous, equally large acoustic, one that permits me to express myself even more while playing it.”
St. Ann’s Létourneau Organ, installed in 1999, was recently enhanced tonally and restored in 2018.
In his performance for the church’s sesquicentennial, Dubois played one of the major movements of the grand repertoire of the organ, the Fantasy and the Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutary unjam by Franz Liszt.
“I want to give the maximum I can and try to make the music alive and defend what the composer wanted. I want to recreate his universe,” said Dubois of his playing.
“There are no words in my vocabulary — no words in any language — to tell you how amazing this young man is,” said Charles Staunton, a performance attendee. “And just to be in his presence… All of it was great.”
For those who missed this concert, there will be two others upcoming in celebration of the church’s 150th anniversary year. On April 28th at 3 p.m. Nathan Laube, and on November 17th at 3 p.m. Olivier Latry will play the St. Ann’s organ.