Image Thierry Escaich - Live Improvisations
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In September 2009, the new organ in the Church of Santa María, Deba (Basque country, Province of Guipúzkoa), built by the Grenzing organ company (El Papiol / Barcelona) was introduced to a wide public with a series of inauguration concerts. Thierry Escaich, one of the world’s most important improvisers, performed the opening concert on 5 September, 2009.

His programme consisted of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Nicolas de Grigny, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Jehan Alain and his own compositions as well as several improvisations between these works – sometimes relating to the works previously played (e.g. Litanies by Jehan Alain), sometimes on traditional melodies of Basque folklore.

Considering the great popularity of the txistu, the small Basque flute, I suggested to invite a txistulari for this concert in order to have him introducing the individual themes on the txistu flute. With José Ignacio Ansorena one of the best txistulari in the Basque country got invited, who fortunately accepted the invitation immediately.

We recorded the opening concert live. On the next day, further organ improvisations were recorded for the present CD, now replacing the written pieces from the concert programme. They seamlessly fit into the overall CD-programme . This recording thus communicates a very authentic impression of the spectacular live experience of an unforgettable concert evening, honoured with long-lasting applause by the numerous listeners.