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German organist Jörg Abbing recital at St. John’s Cathedral

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As contemporary organists-scholars go, German organist Jörg Abbing is among the best and brightest.

ABBING: Free lecture at St. John’s on Oct. 6

ABBING: Free lecture at St. John’s on Oct. 6

Abbing is a fine player of 20th- and 21st-century organ music, said Maxine Thevenot, director of cathedral music and organist at St. John’s Cathedral.

Abbing will be giving a recital on the cathedral’s pipe organ – the largest in the state – on this afternoon. It initiates the Friends of Cathedral Music’s 2014-15 season.

“The concert combines major composers from the 19th century with those of the 20th century: (Olivier) Messiaen follows the way of (Cesar) Franck, (Theo) Brandmueller the way of (Max) Reger,” Abbing wrote in an email.

“Both Messiaen and Brandmueller do this with different musical elements. But both of them are trying to follow some kind of national musical identity.”

Messiaen was French and Brandmueller German.

At 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 6, Abbing will give a free lecture-demonstration at the cathedral organ. He plans to discuss the different paths of musical composition for the organ as they are represented in the 20th century. Abbing said he might point out parallels with musical improvisation.

His current American tour also takes him to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he is on the staff of a music conference, and to St. Louis, Mo., where he will perform and lecture.

The Albuquerque chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the University of New Mexico are co-sponsoring Abbing’s Albuquerque recital.

Abbing is professor music at the Hochscule für Musik, Saar. Since 1995, he’s been organist of the Collegiate Church of St. Arnual in Saarbrucken and has been a lecturer at the University of Saarland.

His published books include biographies of French composer-organists Maurice Duruflé and Jean Guillou.