A few years ago I was giving a program in another city. It was an organ recital. A certain man named Dave found out I was playing and looked me up on the internets. I received an e-mail from Dave requesting that I play the Widor Toccata on the program because “he had always wanted to hear it on that organ.” I composed a response which I just discovered digging through some old materials. I am reprinting it below for the use of other organists in similar situations.
Thanks for contacting me with your request. I regret to say that the Widor Toccata will be unavailable for this concert. It is so exhausted from constant performances by poor organists that it is taking the weekend off. The Widor Toccata is, unfortunately, one of those wonderful little pieces that has been so over-programmed for so many years that most organists don’t play it unless they are under threat of physical violence. However, if the infinite monkey theorem has any validity, you can be assured that it will eventually happen, even if only by chance. The good news is that I am playing two Toccatas on my concert, and those pieces have some of the same notes as the Widor Toccata.
I do regret to inform you that Dave was less than amused by my response. He accused me of being the sort of elitist organist that is driving audiences away. I’ve learned my lesson though. Next time, I’m just going to put a tip jar on the console and do a whole program where the audience just calls out requests.