1961 Holtkamp – 2020 Pasi/Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota
1961 Holtkamp – 2020 Pasi/Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota

At the Abbey #2201

. . . to enhance the instrument’s versatility and impact, Martin Pasi recently completed a 47-rank addition to the historic 64-rank 1961 Holtkamp pipe organ.at at St. John’s Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, MN.

Hour One

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMSPrelude on Bryn Calfaria –Robert (“Bart”) Pitman (r. 10/11/72)

MAX REGERToccata & Fugue in d/D, Op. 59, nos. 5/6Anne Phillips

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT:  Starlight & Elegiac Poem, fr 3 Compositions for Organ, Op. 108Jonathan Gregoire

JEHAN ALAIN:  Ballade en mode phrygien –Anne Phillips

CHARLES TOURNEMIRE:  Carillon-Sortie, fr Suite No. 35, In Assumptione BVM, fr L’Orgue Mystique, Op. 57Jonathan Gregoire

Filler – REGER: Toccata (see above)

In addition to an extended conversation with Michael Barone Barone, Martin Pasi, and Father Robert Koopman, you can watch these performances (beginning at +1:08:30) in an extended Youtube video recorded during the inaugural concert on the expanded Holtkamp-Pasi organ (r. 9/19/21).

Hour Two

VAUGHAN WILLIAMSPrelude on Rhosymedre –Robert (“Bart”) Pitman (r. 10/11/72)

BRYAN HAYES, O.S.B:  Psalm 93 (The Lord is King) –Anthony Ruff, O.S.B.

FLOR PEETERSPrelude (plus antiphonal Hymn) on Lucis creator optime –Jacob Berns, O.S.B.

SALLY ANN MORRISHymn, Never silent in your praises (premiere, text by Sister Delores Dufner, O.S.B) –Anthony Ruff, O.S.B.  

WILLIAM BOLCOM:  3 Intermezzi for Organ (premiere) –Robert Koopman, O.S.B.  These performances were recorded during the Solemn Blessing of the organ (r. 9/18/21)

REGER:  Benedictus, Op. 59, no. 9Lee Treml (r. 9/19/21)

Filler – MORRIS: Hymn (see above)

Large pipes for an organ.
The largest pipes of the Pasi expansion in the corner of the church. Built by Abbey Woodworking, these pipes reach up to 32 feet tall.
Courtesy of St. John’s Abbey Woodworking.

The full Evensong Service and Solemn Blessing of the Holtkamp-Pasi organ (9/18/21) can be viewed on YouTube. A performance by Brother Jacob Berns, presented on the 59th anniversary of the initial Holtkamp organ’s inaugural concert (12/7/1961), features works by deGrigny and Bach, plus Widor’s Symphonie Romane , which appears in Pipedreams Program #2129, as well as on YouTube (12/7/2020).  The first public airing of the Holtkamp-Pasi organ was during a hymn festival accompanied by guest organist Bill Chouinard (11/13/20).

Nothing is better than hearing this instrument ‘live’, and the Saint John’s Abbey calendar lists a number of events in January and February 2022.

A brief historical reflection: the presence of the original Holtkamp instrument, located within the splendid and reverberant Abbey Church designed by Marcel Breuer, played an important role in Michael Barone’s decision in 1968 to accept an appointment as Music Director of the University’s fledgling broadcast facility, KSJR-FM.  That station served as the springboard for what today is the Minnesota Public Radio network and American Public Media, by which he is still employed. In 1970 Barone initiated The Organ Program on the MPR network which forty years ago became the nationally-syndicated program PIPEDREAMS. The first PIPEDREAMS broadcast, part of a limited series of 14 initial programs, was offered in national syndication in January 1982.

One section of an organ at a church.
One section of the Holtkamp-Pasi Organ expansion. With the 2,600-pipe expansion, the total number of pipes now reaches 6,000
Courtesy of St. John’s Abbey
1961 Holtkamp – 2020 Pasi
Diagram of the 1961 Holtkamp – 2020 Pasi/Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota
K.C. Marrin

Continuing support of PIPEDREAMS is provided in loving memory of Wesley and Lucinda Dudley by their family, with additional support from Walter McCarthy, Clara Ueland, and the Greystone Foundation, by Jan Kirchner on behalf of her family foundation, by the Art and Martha Kaemmer Fund of the HRK Foundation, in celebration of the life of Martha Hulings Kaemmer, and by listener-contributors to this public radio station. Additional support comes from Kegg Pipe Organ Builders of Hartville, OH, and Letourneau Organs Ltd. of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, members of APOBA, the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, a collaborative of designers, creators, and maintainers of pipe organs found in religious and educational institutions, concert halls, and residences throughout the United States and beyond. An APOBA resource guide and member prospectus is available at APOBA.COM.