The pleasure of spontaneous playing: organist Walter Dolak gives concerts in Immenstadt – Immenstadt news

Improvisations are Walter Dolak’s passion since his youth. At a concert in Immenstadt, he wants to prove the art he has achieved in this profession.

There were photos of diligence when the boy was practicing properly. But trying a given literature was not his job – says organist and music teacher Walter Dolak with a smile. The student preferred to imitate on the piano something he had overheard somewhere. What his first piano teacher, a stern nun Roman from the royal institute in Meitingen, found less amusing. Improvisations are still his passion – says Dolak. He proves this on Sunday, June 26 in the parish church of St. Nicholas in Immenstadt. The title of the organ concert: “Improvisations from the moment”.

He was dragged into the gallery as a child

Walter Dolak (62), born in Wertingen, grew up in Meitingen (Augsburg County), and at an early age came into contact with organ music. His father was a teacher and ran both a singing club and a church choir at St. Wolfgang in Meitingen. Mother sang in the church choir and often performed as a soloist. And so parents often “dragged little Walter and his three siblings to the gallery.”

“I soaked everything like a sponge”

Walter had an ear for organ sounds then, and when he could one day play Handel’s Hallelujah for his sister Romana, she was very impressed. “My ear absorbed everything like a suction sponge and I loved putting it into the keys myself.” His “taste for music” made him even scramble for an altar boy, Dolak says with a laugh: “I listened to what Empore came up with and forgot what was next at the altar.

Pleasure in a mix of a piece

When he transferred to St. Wolfgang – Benedictine abbeys of St. Augsburg, at that time still a junior high school for boys – he took organ lessons from Theo Eser. The teacher was very Francophile, had many contacts with French composers, and had a soft spot for French organ music. And he was a great improviser, Dolak is delighted to this day. He still has the pleasure to play in all possible musical genres, mixing and linking songs.

Career start in Essen

Walter Dolak studied school music, church music and organ concerts at the University of Music in Munich and conducting at the University of Music in Würzburg. He began his professional career as an organist and choir director in St. Mang in Füssen and as a music teacher in Füssen and Hohenschwangau. This was followed by teaching at high schools and music schools in Kaufbeuren, Marktoberdorf and Kempten. Dolak currently works as a music teacher at the Carl-von-Linde-Gymnasium in Kempten and as director of the Kempten Chamber Choir. He is involved as a pianist, organist and conductor throughout Europe. He has won prizes at international organ improvisation competitions.

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On Sunday, Walter Dolak will play the first part of the romantic organ music in St. Nikolaus: “Suite Gothique” by French composer Léon Boëllmann, who is celebrating its 160th birthday this year, the last movement of Louis Vierne’s first organ symphony and a variation of César Franck, which Dolak edited himself. In the second part, the organist fulfills the musical requests of the audience written on small pieces of paper. And then, laughs Dolak, “let’s get down to the fun.” He tries to put the pieces together like in a potpourri, but also pauses, “depending on how you can put them together.”

“I also play jazz, rock, pop”

Dolak does not avoid the “crossover”: “I also play jazz, rock and pop.” Are there any wishes he cannot fulfill? “Yes,” he laughs. If you want something extraordinary that is “completely niche” or something very specific, like the second part of track no. 20 from Prokofiev, then he would have to pass. Unless the listener can sing him a theme or write down notes for him. This has happened before when the listener is “so musically gifted”.

Meeting: Organ concert with Walter Dolak will take place on Sunday, June 26 at 19.30 in the parish church of St. Nicholas in Immenstadt. Free admission, please donate to the “Friends of Church Music in Św. Nicholas ”.

Friends of Church Music in Immenstadt.

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