Henry’s Recital at House of Prayer
Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 2 pm: Henry played a solo recital on the 1989 Schlicker two-manual and pedal organ at House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Escondido, California. The first half of his program featured original works and transcriptions for organ. (All transcriptions were Henry’s own arrangements.) During the second half of the program, Henry played original Vaudeville accordion classics on his 1978 Victoria Concert Accordion (built in Italy) which were composed by the two early 20th-century pioneers of the piano accordion: Guido Deiro (1886-1950 and his brother Pietro Deiro (1888-1954).
Jean-Joseph Mouret: Rondeau from his first Suite de Symphonies
Attributed to J. S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in F (BWV 556)
Attributed to J. S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C (BWV 553)
Léo Delibes: Flower Duet from Lakmé
Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Erik Satie: Gymnopédie No. 1
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Excerpts from Symphony No. 9, Final Movement (Ode to Joy)
Guido Deiro: My Florence Waltz
Pietro Deiro: Celestina Polka
Guido: Lido Tango
Pietro: Quicksilver Novelty
Guido: Deiro Rag
Attributed to Pietro, but actually composed by S. Falco: Beautiful Days Waltz
Guido: Sharpshooter’s March
Carol Graham, an organist in Vista, California, and the Secretary (and Chair of the Education Committee) for the American Guild of Organists’ Palomar Chapter, attended Henry’s recital and noted:
What a delight for my ears and eyes to hear and see the Dean of our Palomar Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Henry Doktorski, present music on both organ and accordion in one concert! He is obviously a seasoned concert performer, and his sometimes-humorous commentaries between pieces were interesting and entertaining. Henry used the resources of House of Prayer’s beautiful nine-rank Schlicker organ to demonstrate a wide tonal palette, including the Zimbelstern at the finale of Léo Delibes’ Flower Duet from Lakmé! The F & C Major Short Preludes attributed to Bach were charming and reminded me of how delightful these little “gems” are to the ears.
I must confess that this was the first time I ever attended an accordion concert. The tone of Henry’s 32-pound (!) Victoria piano accordion (built in 1978 with four ranks of reeds in the right-hand manual and 5 ranks in the left) was mellow and sophisticated, and resonated beautifully in the House of Prayer Lutheran Church. The music of the brothers Guido and Pietro Deiro came to life with Henry’s skillful interpretation of classic original works for accordion from the “Golden Age of Vaudeville” which were quite popular in the early 20th century, including waltzes, a tango, a polka, a rag, a novelty and a march. The rousing Sharpshooter’s March ended a most varied and enjoyable program.
P. S. You can ask Henry sometime about the relationship between Guido and Mae West when you desire to hear some torrid romance material! (Henry wrote a biography of the two brothers titled: The Brothers Deiro and Their Accordions.)