American Muse

We take the psalmists directive, at least for few moments, and venture Beside Still Waters on our next Pipedreams program by listening to music by American composers. Douglas Cleveland plays Dan Locklair’s Windows of Comfort… a series of movements inspired by Tiffany stained glass window scenes. David Higgs presents the world premiere of Three Meditations, by Augusta Read Thomas, and Mary Preston joins the Colorado Symphony for a colorful and sizzling new Concerto for Organ and Orchestra by Gerald Near which might make you stand up and shout bravo. From alpha to omega, we explore the living art of colorful contemporary repertoire with Douglas Cleveland, David Higgs, and Mary Preston as our soloist guides. From an Organist’s Guild Convention in Denver, it’s the American Muse at work, this week on Pipedreams.

A Mexican Organ Odyssey #9840

With organologist and restorer Susan Tattershall, we explore the musical legacy of the Spanish conquest of the New World, visiting historic instruments in the regions of Oaxaca, Tlaxcala and Mexico City. Less than a century after the first expedition of Christopher Columbus, the art of organbuilding, taught by Spanish monks and practiced, to large extent, by indigenous artisans, was firmly established on the North American continent. Our program travels the countryside, revelling in the ‘sights and sounds’ of a remarkable culture, and listening to instruments built in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries, some small enough to stand on a card table, others as grand as the finest cathedral organs of Old Spain. Performances feature Jose Suarez of the Mexico City Conservatory, and Roberto Oropeza. All recordings were made on location and generally in compromised circumstances, and in most cases the organs were pumped by hand. Sites and musical selections include: