Sunday afternoon, April 26, was sunny and brisk both inside and outside St. Ita’s Roman Catholic parish on North Broadway in Chicago. Yun Kyong Kim’s splendid recital drew an appreciative audience of 150+, and their standing ovation was well-earned. Kim allowed the 1955 large Wicks Organ at the parish to show all of its colors and strengths, and the gorgeous stained glass windows throughout the parish nave helped to sustain a spiritual essence.
Kim programmed works that are rather seldom heard and that featured styles from the 19th and 20th centuries. Philip Glass’ Mad Rush didn’t seem “mad” at all, but evoked a quasi-mystical impression with its so-called minimalist approach. Sergei Prokofiev’s Toccata, Opus 11 (originally written for piano) was electrifying. Kim’s brilliant technique was on full display. Kim’s performance of Karg-Elert’s Fling Wide the Gates bounced off of St. Ita’s elegant walls with joy and power. Her encore, a transcription of Debussy’s Premiere Arabesque for piano, concluded the recital with graceful elegance.
The welcoming reception afterwards in the parish undercroft provided an invigorating opportunity to greet many area organists from the North Shore and the Chicago AGO Chapters, co-sponsors of the recital. Many thanks go to Dan Lagacy, parish music director, and Dorothy Julian, parish administrator, for their attentive assistance. It was encouraging to notice that many in the audience were probably enjoying their very first organ recital. Two young boys, approximately ten and twelve years old, spoke with Yun Kim very enthusiastically. Everyone felt sunny.
Submitted by Jay Peterson, Treasurer