Pianist James Fogle, a mainstay of the keyboard department at Meredith for longer than he may wish to recall, lives in Florida now, where he is failing retirement because he is involved in so many different projects. But he was back in town recently for a visit and to present two programs at his old school. The first of these, given in Jones Chapel on the afternoon of the 11th, was dubbed “September 11, 2001: A Meditation.” It was the sort of program that, like weddings and funerals, didn’t lend itself to review. The music was by Mohammed Fairouz, Bach, Debussy, Phil Kline, Robert Ward, William Bolcom, Horace Parlan, and Eve Beglarian. The somber affair, devoid of applause, was just what some of us needed on the 15th anniversary of those attacks on our nation, and the fine program notes set all the music in well-nigh perfect contexts.

His second program, offered in Carswell Concert Hall on the evening of the 13th, was a lecture-recital titled “Impaired and Enabled: Music and Disability.” It featured ten pieces by seven composers who suffered various physical, mental, and/or developmental issues, interspersed with extensive commentary by the presenting artist. The spark for this program was “a remarkable concert” Fogle heard a while back, “put on by the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss [at which] all the pieces performed … were composed by people with varying degrees and types of hearing loss and also performed by musicians with hearing impairments.”

This presentation didn’t really lend itself to review, either, but the lecture was so remarkable we felt it important to preserve it in some way, so with Fogle’s gracious consent and cooperation, we are pleased to be able to do so. Alas, we don’t have his pianistic illustrations, but with thanks to the resource that is YouTube we have nearly everything covered. To read the talk and hear the examples, click here.