John Terwal Haarlem 2002: just one round
Het ORGEL 98 (2002), nr. 5, 40-42 [summary]


The 44th International Improvisation Competition at Haarlem took place on 2 July. Whereas in former years the competition consisted of three public rounds, this year's contest had but one. Six organists were entered: Zuzanna Ferjenciková (Slovakia), Jacob Lekkerkerker (The Netherlands), Hampus Lindwall (Sweden), Gabriel Marghieri (France), David Timm (Germany) en Sietze de Vries (The Netherlands).
The disadvantages of a reduction to one round are that the organists 'have no second chance in which they might improve on a moderate showing or demonstrate other aspects of their improvisation skills; and that jury has to decide on the basis of a single improvisation.
The theme was composed by Petr Eben; the organists had to improvise a Sonata. Ferjenciková, however, did not manage to get out of the tonal center in which she began; Marghieri got lost in a fragmented improvisation; Timm opened convincingly with some jazzy influences but did not manage to maintain this quality; Lekkerkerker played a very long time, which made it difficult to understand his orchestral approach; and although Lindwall played considerably shorter, his improvisation was characterised by commonplace ideas and dull counterpoint. The members of the jury, Jean-Pierre Leguay, Theo Brandmüller, Daan Manneke and Zsigmund Szatmáry, gave the prize to Sietze de Vries. The Chairman of the jury, Ewald Kooiman, said that De Vries had been the best with respect to the use of the organ and the musical form. Remarkable in De Vries's improvisation were his extended quotes of Psalm 124 and his traditional approach.