1959 Schlicker organ at Valparaiso University, IN1959 Schlicker organ at Valparaiso University, IN

An Organist’s Yearbook #0052

We reflect on the passing of time on our next Pipedreams broadcast. The old year now is gone and done. So are a number of wonderful musical friends whom we will honor and miss. But, we’ll also celebrate some intriguing new instruments, check up on the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia for a progress report on the ongoing restoration there, sample some recent recordings - including a disc which just won a ‘golden ears’ award from a popular audiophile journal and stop down in Mexico, where fireworks and the village band added to the excitement of a visit from some Norwegian performers.
1948 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, UT1948 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, UT

Seasonal Seasonings #0051

It’s a feast for the ears on this week’s broadcast. We’ll have choice and charming confections from home and abroad, including Dale Wood’s evocation of a Cold December, a Richard Purvis song about wee lambs, and a mechanical music-box version of White Christmas. We’ll also visit Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Minneapolis, the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, England, and Brangwyn Hall in Wales in search of the proper ingredients for our holiday party.
Paul HalleyPaul Halley

An American Organist’s Christmas in America #0050

We raise a joyful noise on our next Pipedreams broadcast, exploring the talents of a marvelously multi-faceted fellow whom you might best know from his keyboard collaborations with the Paul Winter Consort. But Paul Halley does so much more. We’ll hear him with his Connecticut-based Chorus, Angelicus and Gaudeamus, in recital at Spivey Hall near Atlanta, improvising on seasonal songs, and in his landmark recording of late-night music from the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. Spirituality and spirited performing become one in the same, as Paul Halley shares his unique gifts.
1991 C.B. Fisk organ at First Presbyterian Church1991 C.B. Fisk organ at First Presbyterian Church

Going On Record #0047

One of the delights about the organ is its virtually limitless repertoire, and this Pipedreams program explores some of that as we sample a collection of the latest releases of pipe organ repertoire on compact disc. Hear pieces by Bach’s favorite pupil, a work for organ and cello by written by one Paris Conservatoire professor for himself and a colleague, a canny combination of organ sound with an electronically synthesized harp, a quiet bluesy Arietta by African American pianist Thomas Kerr, and a sonorous symphony by Alexander Guilmant which will make your speakers rumble.
Charles-Marie WidorCharles-Marie Widor

One on One #2044

Grandeur and majesty. Passion and poetry. These are the elements of a new musical style that evolved in Paris in the latter 19th-century which revolutionized the art of the organ. On our next Pipedreams broadcast, we’ll hear two ‘firsts’ - two symphonic works for solo organ by Charles-Marie Widor and his pupil and, ultimately, competitor, Louis Vierne. Inspired by the sonorities of the lavish new instruments designed by master organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, both Widor, who was the first to call a composition an organ symphony, and Vierne created musical masterpieces that are both a challenge to play and a joy to hear.
1992 C.B. Fisk organ, at Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Texas1992 C.B. Fisk organ, at Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Texas

The Dallas International Organ Competition 2000 (Part 2) #0043

The nine competitors have been thinned to three with the ultimate challenge just on the horizon. On our next Pipedreams broadcast, we take you to the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas where three young artists vie for the gold prizes on a Texas scale totaling over $50,000 in cash and awards! Bach prevails in the company of Brahms, Bill Bolcom and Max Reger, while Gunther Rost, Bradley Hunter Welch and James Diaz pull out all the stops in this most prestigious of American contests for young masters of the king of instruments. Tune in and hear the exciting conclusion of the finals of the Dallas International Organ Competition 2000, this week on Pipedreams.
1993 C.B. Fisk organ in the Caruth Auditorium at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX1993 C.B. Fisk organ in the Caruth Auditorium at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

The Dallas International Organ Competition 2000 (Part 1) #0042

To play the organ is a challenge under any circumstance. Manipulating all of those keyboards and pedals and buttons really keeps you on the edge. Can you imagine what must it be like to play the organ in competition? Well, that’s more pressure than I could tolerate, but on our next Pipedreams program you’ll hear nine young artists put it on the line, for prizes of up to $30,000, and hardly bat an eye. From the delicate tracery of a Bach Trio to the plangent passion of a contemporary toccata, young musicians go for the gold at the world’s most beneficent battle for organists. From the Caruth Auditorium and the Meyerson Symphony Center, it’s the Dallas International Organ Competition 2000, Part One, this week on Pipedreams.
1911 Wanamaker Organ1911 Wanamaker Organ

Big, Bigger, Biggest #0041

If the organ is the king of instruments, then our next Pipedreams program is a showplace for the kings of kings. This week we will compare seven of the world’s largest pipe organs in all of their Olympian splendor. We’ll listen to Peter Baicchi as he plays at the Crystal Cathedral and Fred Swann as he shows off the latest additions to First Congregational Church, Los Angeles. We’ll also visit the Cadet Chapel at West Point, the Mother Church of Christian Science in Boston, and Passau Cathedral, the largest church organ in Europe. And we’ll hear the mightiest of all, the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ in Philadelphia, and Senator Emerson Richards’ still-unrealized dream at Atlantic City’s Boarwalk Hall. It’s Big, Bigger, Biggest, the giants in their homes, this week on Pipedreams.
1953 Aeolian-Skinner organ at Riverside Church in New York, NY1953 Aeolian-Skinner organ at Riverside Church in New York, NY

The Fox Phenomenon #0040

A celebration and remembrance of that most charismatic and controversial of 20th century American virtuosos, Virgil Fox [1912-1980] with comments from Fox and long-time friends and associates Ted Alan Worth and Lawrence Schreiber, plus recordings made by Fox at the Riverside Church, the Filmore East Auditorium in New York City, Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Garden Grove Church in California. This program was produced in cooperation with Dan Cronenwett, Stephen Carlson, and public radio station KBYU-FM, Provo, Utah.
Norman MackenzieNorman Mackenzie

American Premieres #0039

It’s about the adventure of discovery, the excitement of surprise. On the next Pipedreams program we explore recent works by mostly American composers, including a Concerto for Organ Solo, and a lyric Cantilena that sounds like a cool, slow jazz solo brought to church. For the kids, a funny, quasi-rap piece about Rex, the King of Instruments. Some people will do anything to get your attention, and our highlight is a stunning item for organ, strings and percussion which will knock your socks off. Don’t miss the great sounds, American Premieres, this week on Pipedreams. To learn more about Stephen Paulus and Norman Mackenzie, read Family Secret by Michael Barone.
Heather HintonHeather Hinton

Playing for the Prize #0038

Ingenuity, subtlety, virtuosity, even heroism are traits necessary in becoming a world-class musician. Hear them applied by Heather Hinton, Peter Krasinski, John Schwandt, Justin Bischof, and Ann Elise Smoot, all winners of American Guild of Organists national competitions. I captured them ‘on the spot’ in Denver, showing us the way through music of many moods: fast and sinister, prayerful, and heroic. It’s amazing what the youngsters are up to these days and there’s no stopping them. Tune in and hear them Playing for the Prize, this week on Pipedreams.
1962 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Cathedral of Saint Philip, Atlanta1962 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Cathedral of Saint Philip, Atlanta

Southern Comfort #0037

A return to Georgia on this week’s Pipedreams program recorded during an American Guild of Organists convention in Atlanta. We’ll visit the Cathedral of Saint Philip to sample this moody meditation by Walter Hilse, hear a sacred song-setting by Rachel Laurin of Montréal, journey to Peachtree Road United Methodist Church for Karel Paukert’s scintillating representation of Czech and American works, and to Trinity Presbyterian Church where Todd Wilson, George Hanson and Atlanta Symphony members explore music for organ and strings. History revisited.
Professor Craig CramerProfessor Craig Cramer

Cramer On Cramer #0036

To know this instrument is to celebrate the totality of its wide-ranging repertoire, and one of today’s most broad-minded organists is Professor Craig Cramer from Notre Dame University in Indiana. He takes equal pleasure in contemporary compositions and historic music played on period instruments. We’ll hear him perform Bach in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Steinfeld, Germany. We also hear him in recital on the 19th-century Johnson organ at a convent in Mankato, Minnesota and on the new installation at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma. Craig shares his insights and experiences gained during his international recital tours.