Florence Mustric has a master of music in organ performance from Cleveland Institute of Music and a bachelor of arts from Oberlin College. In April 1994, to showcase Trinity's world- famous Beckerath pipe organ, Florence Mustric and Trinity's director of music began Music Near the Market, a series of free programs presented every Wednesday of the year.

To perform regularly on this magnificent instrument is an absolute delight. This organ has the winning combination: clarity and power and warmth. Clarity allows every note and detail to be heard. Power is thrilling. And warmth is the final essential. These qualities have drawn people to our series who came out of curiosity and stayed because they became addicted to the beauty of the sound.

I play themed programs that are fun and fascinating. Our audience has loved hearing beautiful music in a focused yet relaxed context.

This organ has great versatility, making it superb not only for Baroque master-pieces but also for music of almost every other style and period. Performing at Trinity month in and out, year in and out, gives me the luxury of playing lots of Bach and so much more.

Venturing beyond the Baroque on this organ raises a special challenge because Trinity's Beckerath – a demonstration organ built at cost – has no presets. Every change in color and volume, from the most subtle to the most dramatic, requires a human helper to pull and push knobs, often with split-second timing. For example, Pictures has about 500 changes, an average of a dozen per minute.

Someone must be willing to learn where every stopknob is located, follow the music and the hand-written instructions, locate the stopknobs instantlly, and pull or push them (they are a handful!) at the right moment. This person is known as a registrant because a combination of sounds is called the registration. My superb registrants, credited on every CD, have truly made these recordings possible!

After doing Pictures, I sweet-talked this German organ into trying to approximate the French accents of a Cavaillé-Coll organ for the masterpieces of César Franck and Marcel Dupré...Along the way, a friend passed along a CD with “Riff-Raff” on it, and eventually the Beckerath pedalboard was yielding up a boogie-woogie bass. The two greatest challenges were achieving Pedal glissandi in Elmore's “Rhumba” and approaching as much as possible the expressiveness of stringed instruments in Barber's “Adagio for Strings.”

My goal – in these CDs as well is in Music Near the Market – is to showcase this instrument's fabulous qualities in some of the most beautiful and imaginative classical music composed over the past three centuries.


Shaker Life Magazine Review



uuu©2007 text by Florence Mustric/Photography by Joe Glick Photography