1969 Klais organ at Saint Kilian‘s Cathedral, Würzburg, Germany1969 Klais organ at Saint Kilian‘s Cathedral, Würzburg, Germany

King Widor #0217

He was the big cheese in the French organ world of one hundred years ago, and on our next Pipedreams broadcast we celebrate his legacy with a composite performance of his most famous work. Although he wrote 10 solo organ symphonies, his Number V has always been the most popular, because of its famous concluding Toccata. We’ll hear the entire work, each movement played by a different soloist on a different instrument, plus another symphony, for organ and orchestra, a rare gem presented in concert at the American guild of Organists Convention in Atlanta. Hear the lavish and lovely compositions of Charles-Marie Widor a toast to King Widor this week on Pipedreams.
1981 Nordlie organ in the Brandon Lutheran Church, Brandon, SD1981 Nordlie organ in the Brandon Lutheran Church, Brandon, SD

The American Muse #0216

We’ve a sampler of somewhat unusual and extraordinarly characterful music on our next Pipedreams program, compositions AND instruments by Americans, including James Woodman’s Lydian Versets, played on the John Nordlie organ at the Lutheran Church in Brandon, South Dakota. We’ll hear other pieces by Dan Locklair, Robert Elmore, Richard Purvis, and Philip Glass, played in Stamford, Connecticut, Collegedale, Tennessee, Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, plus we’ll visit the grand old Granad Theatre in Kansas City for some snappy show tunes from yesterday and the day before. Something’s got to give, when we break through maddining misperceptions and expose the pipe organ for what it really always is a marvelously magical music-making machine, playing everything from prayers to pops. We honor a nation of organbuilders and composers and celebrate The American Muse this week on Pipedreams.
2001 C.B. Fisk organ at Finney Chapel of Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH2001 C.B. Fisk organ at Finney Chapel of Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

Oberlin’s New‘French’Fisk #0215

The accent is convincing, but the context? On our next Pipedreams program, we listen to a new instrument fashioned in the manner of the great organs by 19th century French builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. But we’re not in a famous Parisian church, rather we’re on the Ohio plains southwest of Cleveland, at Finney Chapel of Oberlin College where the C.B. Fisk company of Gloucester, Massachusetts, set out to provide students with an experience they could only otherwise achieve abroad. We celebrate in style, with solos and orchestral pieces, as faculty recitalists Haskell Thomson and David Boe show off a new instrument which adds to a teaching resource unparalleled at any other American school. Join us at Finney Chapel to savor Oberlin’s New French Fisk, this week on Pipedreams.

Mozart, Mendelssohn and Mahler #0214

Felix Mendelssohn wrote often and well for the king of instruments, but his Hebrides Overture is not usually numbered among his standard organ essays. On our next Pipedreams program, though all of the music sounds simply fantastic, none of it was created for the medium of wind-blown pipes. If you’ve enjoyed the occasional appearance of the pipe organ in his Second and Eighth Symphonies, how about Mahler’s Symphony Number 5 arranged as an organ solo? Good things are where you find them, and Frederick Hohman, Matt Curlee, Alexander Frey, David Briggs, and other friends tackle the matter of orchestral transcriptions with overtures for concert hall and opera house. Not your usual organ recital. For an extraordinary experience, it’s Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Mahler, this week on Pipedreams.
1714 Boizard organ at Saint Michel Abbey, Saint Michel en Thiérache, France1714 Boizard organ at Saint Michel Abbey, Saint Michel en Thiérache, France

He is Risen! #0213

Choirs and instruments together celebrate the Easter Festival on our next Pipedreams program, a joyous collection of music for the Spring Awakening. Gerre Hancock leads the singers from Saint Thomas Church in New York City, Davitt Morony explores early 17th century French works, while David Fuller and friends present an entire organ symphony on an Easter theme. Tendrils of tone waft heavenward as we rejoice in the reawakening energy of spring with works by Widor and Bach, plus contemporary improvisations and fantasies with a new vision. Verses and variations, fantasies and festivity, everything from Gregorian chants to electric guitars blend their songs in an uplifting surge He is Risen a resurrection rouser, this week on Pipedreams.
Johann Sebastian BachJohann Sebastian Bach

Chips Off the Old Bach #0212

There’s no denying his place as one of music’s grand masters. Even his name provides a motive for further exploration. On our next Pipedreams broadcast, we celebrate Johann Sebastian Bach with some adventuresome early works, several colorful arrangements of his works by other composers and a few pieces in modern mode which were inspired by his example. In his own time, he was a prime mover and has been an inspiration for musicians ever since. From Alice Tully Hall to Saint Wenzel’s Church in Naumburg, Robert Clark, Catharine Crozier, Barbara Harbach, Anthony Newman, and friends sweep through the workshop and find Chips off the Old Bach, this week on Pipedreams.
Marie-Bernadette DufourcetMarie-Bernadette Dufourcet

Vive la France! #0211

Marie Bernadette Dufourcet has delighted audiences with her spectacular playing and proves herself to be yet another shining star in the galaxy of famous French organists. On our next Pipedreams program, she steps beyond the shadow of her equally talented husband, Naji Hakim, to demonstrate her own gifts as interpretor, improvisor and composer. In recordings made in Washington DC and Saint Paul, Minnesota, and a few done at her church, Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris where she is titulaire, Ms. Dufourcet establishes herself as not just your average wife and mother, sharing a cross-section of music from the past century. She is a supremely assurred player and composer, as demonstrated through recital recordings and perceptive commentary. Celebrate Marie Bernadette Dufourcet-Hakim, our special guest, who makes you want to shout Viva la France!, which we do, this week on Pipedreams.
1950 Holtkamp organ at Crouse College, Syracuse, New York, New York1950 Holtkamp organ at Crouse College, Syracuse, New York, New York

Archive of Cherchez les Femmes #0210

The goal of our next Pipedreams program is clear enough, discover exceptional women musicians and given them center stage. And so we shall, with Irmtraud Krueger marching around the sanctuary in Poligny, France, Kathleen Scheide playing her own composition in Boston, Dorothy Papadakos improvising to the songs of humpback whales at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City, now isn’t THAT an image?! and Katharine Pardee responding to the muse of Sweelinck in Syracuse. Whether Under the Linden Green, or in the depths of the sea singing with humpback whales, talented women organists play for us, showing off a multiplicity of talents and tastes as we Cherchez les Femmes, and find them…this week on Pipedreams.

Alain On Alain (Part 2)

…the remarkable Marie-Claire Alain talks about the unique power of the compositions by her older brother and first teacher, Jehan Alain [1911-1940]. He wrote one of the best known, and most powerful organ scores of the 20th century, titled Litanies, and during his short life created an astonishing array of deeply communicative compositions. On our next Pipedreams program the works of Jehan Alain will be performed by an international array of soloists, including composer’s sister Marie-Claire. Jehan was the talented older brother, Marie-Claire the little black sheep whom he encouraged. Jehan was killed early in World War II, at the age of 29 and Marie-Claire has championed his music ever since, music which now the whole world knows. Mysterious, miraculous, the music of Jehan Alain, revealed to us by the woman who has championed it throughout her own remarkable international career. Marie-Claire Alain is our special guest for Alain on Alain, this week on Pipedreams.
Guy BovetGuy Bovet

It’s a“Guy”Thing #0208

Maybe it’s just a matter of doing things HIS way, or wanting to shake the dust off and step beyond hallowed tradition. On our next Pipedreams program, I visit with Swiss recitalist and composer Guy Bovet, for whom the organ offers every imaginable opportunity for expression and adventure. Whether in a beguiling tribute to the city of Salamanca, or the first inventory of the historic organs of Mexico, whether involved in an important restoration, or tickling us with a ‘rediscovered’ Mozart Bolero, or making pipes play jazz, Guy Bovet blends serious intentions and wry humor in a very special way. We’re never quite clear about his destination when we start out, but when you travel with a certain Swiss organist you’re guaranteed an adventure amidst historic instruments and unusual repertoire, all produced with rare insight and good humor. It’s a “Guy” Thing, this week on Pipedreams.
1782 Orden organ at Malaga Cathedral1782 Orden organ at Malaga Cathedral

Fanfares and Antiphons #0207

This is fair and pleasant music, grave yet rapturous, from the pen of Marcel Dupré, a collection of introspective Vespers Antiphons which began as improvisations and proved to be so compelling that he was commissioned to later write them down. On our next Pipedreams program, these and other such works by Benjamin Britten, Larry King, and William Mathias provide startling contrast to outspoken scores by Percy Whitlock, Daniel Gawthrop, Barbara Harbach, and Brent Weaver, where heraldic brilliance calls us to attention and involvement. It’s a program of contrasts, brilliant and subdued, theatrical and introspective, with instrumental and choral pieces dedicated to color and collective prayer. From the Cathedral in Mallaga to Trinity Church, Wall Street, delight in variety Fanfares and Antiphons, this week on Pipedreams.
1972 Harrison organ at Christ Church, Savannah, GA1972 Harrison organ at Christ Church, Savannah, GA

In Black and White #0206

The pipe organ offers a player a rainbow of sonorous hues from which to draw, and while our next Pipedreams program exploits such opportunity, we also deal with a different facet of color. During the past century, composers such as William Grant Still, Thomas Kerr, Ulysses Kay, and Florence Price have made sizeable, if sometimes unheralded, contributions to the concert repertoire of the king of instruments. Whether in abstract visions or classical forms, responding to main-stream themes or spiritual influences, theirs is an important voice, as you’ll discover listening to a dozen remarkable works recorded by James Abbington, David Oliver, Mark Miller, Lucius Weathersby, Mickey Thomas Terry, and friends. Color me intrigued by the richness and variety of music for pipe organ by African American composers. Is it a paradox that we experience the full range of color In Black and White? The African American impulse, this week on Pipedreams.
1981 Eisenbarth great organ at Passau Cathedral, Germany1981 Eisenbarth great organ at Passau Cathedral, Germany

Reach Out and Touch! #0205

It’s a game of getting-to-know-you. First a few notes, then some others and before you know it, we’re into a new adventure in sound. For hundreds of years, players have explored the limits of their instruments and of their own techniques in works that evolved from the sheer tactile pleasure of pushing down the keys and seeing what happens. Marius Monnekendam in the Netherlands, Robert Elmore in the United States, Girolamo Frescobaldi of Italy, J.S. Bach in Germany and many others have written some of their most exciting music following this scheme. Tactile and tantalizing, our program explores four hundred years of repertoire, instruments from three centuries, and the delights of things done by hand. Better than a good massage, with a tingling sensation guaranteed, we Reach out and Touch the Art of the Toccata, this week on Pipedreams.
1967 Schlicker organ at Plymouth Congregation Church, Seattle1967 Schlicker organ at Plymouth Congregation Church, Seattle

Rising Stars #0204

It’s about knowing both sides, when to hold back in thoughtfulness and when to rush impetuously forward, to know the heart of a piece beyond just the muscle. On our next Pipedreams, eight very aware young talents, recent award winners in a national competition, show us their stuff and tell us their dreams. The names of Michael Costello, Jeeyen Son, Svetlana Fiahkretdinova, Cara Dye, Todd Fickley, Tom Trenney, Grace Renaud, and Frederick Teardo may still be new to you but among them likely are some of the heroes of tomorrow. Whether in sweet serenity or soulful soaring, eight twenty-something young artists prove that the future’s been well-provided for by the talents they are husbanding today. Bask in their glow, Rising Stars, this week on Pipedreams.
1991 Rieger organ at Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna1991 Rieger organ at Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

Going On Record #0203

We explore a world of opportunity on our next Pipedreams program. This is a kind of golden age, as never before has there been quite so much music available on compact disc. We’ll sample from among the most recent issues, including this delicious movement for violin, cello and organ by Rheinberger. We’ll also have the work of little-know Viennese composer Robert Fuchs, played at Saint Stefan’s Cathedral, Vienna, by Peter Planyavsky some Brahms Variations by Marcel Dupré, in a first recording, the latest from the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia, just a tantalizing taste, and pieces by Bach and his favorite pupil, Krebs, recorded very stylishly on historic instruments in Germany. From simple Bach for only two parts well, not SO simple to the sound of the largest functional musical instrument on the planet, we select from among the best new compact discs and provide you with a consumer’s alert. A review of what’s new, we’re Going on Record, this week on Pipedreams.
Marie-Madeleine and Maurice DurufléMarie-Madeleine and Maurice Duruflé

A Centenary Tribute #0202

It was a meticulous craftsmanship and a perfectionist’s attitude that limited his lifetime compositional output to a mere dozen scores. On our next Pipedreams, we’ll show that while they are few in number, the compositions of Maurice Duruflé are like so many perfectly-polished jewels, core items in the organ repertoire. Along with his own works are interpretations of Bach, Handel, and Schumann in performances recorded at Soissons Cathedral, the National Shrine in Washington, DC, and Saint Thomas Church, New York, NY. Inspired by an abiding faith, a reference for Gregorian chant, and a love for the organ, he created a handful of masterpieces beloved equally by singers, players and listeners. Explore the exquisite art of Frenchman Maurice Duruflé, in A Centenary Tribute, this week on Pipedreams.