Concert review: Guest organist at Merrill delivers thoughtful, extraordinary recital

Nathan Laube impressively performs a serious but virtuosic program that reminds listeners what a treasure the Kotzschmar Organ is.

“… [Nathan] Laube’s recital opened the Friends [of the Kotzschmar Organ] series with a serious but virtuosic program that reminded listeners what a treasure the Kotzschmar Organ is. A 29-year-old player from Rochester, New York, where he is on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music, Laube proved to be one of the most thoughtful guests the Friends have presented in recent seasons…

…Laube’s most memorable performance was a transcription of the Overture to Wagner’s “Tannhauser.” With its opening quotation of the opera’s “Pilgrim’s Chorus,” the work sounds thoroughly at home on the organ, and Laube’s transcription, which drew on earlier versions by S.P. Warren and E.H. Lemare, captured the heft and sweep of the orchestral version without slavishly imitating Wagner’s orchestration…”

Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald, September 17, 2017