Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs returned to Phoenix as the soloist for Felix-Alexandre Guilmant’s Symphony No. 1 for Organ and Orchestra. Jacobs has played with the Phoenix Symphony on several occasions, most recently in 2013. For me, however, this was the first time that I’ve heard an organ with a symphony. Last night’s featured performance is a work where the orchestra and organ don’t play at the same time. Most organ pieces, including visits to European churches last summer, emphasize the organ and how many pipes it has. I’m left wondering what kind of organ Jacobs used last night and whether he travels with this instrument. It didn’t take much for an encore, but what an impressive encore! I believe he played Bach’s Toccata and Fugue. Jacobs, on the faculty of Juilliard since 2003, is well known for having memorized many works, including all of Bach.

The evening of music started with Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, Opus 72b and concluded with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550. Another interesting, if short, evening of music.