1995 Noack organ at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston, TX1995 Noack organ at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston, TX

The Pachelbel Players #0334

His name is nearly ubiquitous because of a strangely beguiling piece of chamber music. This week, we’ll leave that piece alone and explore more of the music by the late 17th century master Johann Pachelbel. First in Eisenach, then in Erfurt, Pachelbel maintained friendly ties to the Bach family, and was the principal teacher of Johann Christoph Bach, who in turn used Pachelbel’s music as ideal example when teaching his orphaned younger brother, Johann Sebastian. Barbara Harbach, Antoine Bouchard, Joseph Payne, Wolfgang Rübsam, Marilyn Mason and Olivier Vernet explore the many nuances inherent in these variations sets, fugues, toccatas and fantasias, and reinvigorate these pages from centuries ago. Tune in for the Pachelbel Players.
1978 Rieger organ at Rateburg Cathedral, Germany1978 Rieger organ at Rateburg Cathedral, Germany

Organ Plus #0333

Whenever the sound of organ music is not quite enough, the King of Instruments always has plenty of friends to augment the harmony. This week’s program celebrates exactly that situation with a collection of familiar and unusual works scored for the pipe organ with other instrumental resources. Organ with trumpet, organ with string trio or chamber orchestra, organ with choir and synthesizer and even electronic tape. Michael Murray, Leonard Raver, Peter Hurford and others call on their colleagues to play works by Marcel Dupré, Thomas Augustin Arne, Monte Mason and J.S. Bach. It’s a scene with unlimited horizons; music for Organ Plus.
1991 Reiger organ at Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna1991 Reiger organ at Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

Bach International #0332

No questions are asked when the name of Bach comes up. He is the undisputed master of organ music by worldwide acclaim, and this week, we offer a multi-national celebration of Bachian art, works of amazing grace and glorious intensity. From across Europe and the United States come a host of players, from Albert Schweitzer to David Schrader, Aram Basmadjian to Pierre Bardon. From England, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, France and America, our retrospective celebrates universal appeal and border-crossing cooperation. It’s Bach International.
1927 Wurlitzer Theatre organ at the Sanfilippo Music Salon 1927 Wurlitzer Theatre organ at the Sanfilippo Music Salon

Archive of The Art of the Theatre Organ #0330

Gear up for a super-sonic adventure, as Stephen Adams of the American Theatre Organ Society joins me for a selective survey of organ music in popular mode. We’ll listen to top American talent Lyn Larsen on Wurlitzers in public arenas and private music rooms. Legendary British greats Reginald Foort, Quentin Maclean and Sidney Torch recall the styles of yesteryear, while the inimitable George Wright presents his indellible art at the San Francisco Fox and in three different metamorphoses of instruments custom designed to match his magic touch. Hasten to recall that before it’s involvement with the church, the pipe organ was an instrument of the people, as we listen to The Art of the Theatre Organ.
1953 Aeolian-Skinner1953 Aeolian-Skinner

Archive of Sonic Solutions #0329

From the subtle magic of a single flute stop to the glorious roar of an entire instrument in song, this week’s program explores just a few of the auditory adventures available to organists. Baroque chorale variations and Psalm fantasies, trumpet tunes, symphonic poems, a virtuoso etude for pedals alone, and a racy romp for two performers at one console are just a few of the possibilities exhibited by our talented friends. Gustav Leonhardt, Virgil Fox and several others each provide unique responses to musical challenges as we continue our never ending search for Sonic Solutions.
Charles-Marie Widor and Louis VierneCharles-Marie Widor and Louis Vierne

Four by Four #0328

The pipe organ of 19th century France offered players a virtual symphonic soundscape, and this week we’ll listen to a pair of works that exploit those resources to the full. Charles-Marie Widor at the Church of Saint Sulpice, was the first to thoroughly articulate a symphonic organ style, creating scores rich in color and virtuosity. Widor’s pupil and colleague, Louis Vierne at Notre Dame Cathedral, increased the emotional intensity of the genre to embrace passion, heartbreak and rage. Nine soloists on as many instruments play the Fourth Symphonies by this pair of famous composers, creating the grandest sort of sonic experience. We’re not kidding when we say it’s as simple as Four by Four.
Flor PeetersFlor Peeters

Flor Samples #0327

Belgian master, Flor Peeters, had a remarkable career. He promoted neither a slavish adherence to tradition, nor provoked any revolution, but during his more than six decades as a cathedral organist, teacher and composer, he blended the influences of Germany and France with a typically Flemish love for color and form. We salute his talents while celebrating his centenary with performances of solos, songs, and even a symphonic concerto. Tune in and enjoy the works of Flor Peeters, and some extra delightfully revealing Flor Samples.
Charles Ives and Horatio ParkerCharles Ives and Horatio Parker

Parker and Ives #0326

This week we’ll examine the styles of a teacher and his student. Horatio Parker was traditionally schooled in 19th century Germany. A true Romantic. His devilishly talented upstart student Charles Ives, on the other hand, thought nothing of having a choir sing a hymn in one key while he accompanied in another. Despite their differences, American music would not be what it is today without both of them. Parker created lovely works of fine craftmanship while Ives chartered new territory. Tradition becomes transition at the turn of the 19th century. Hear the contrasts between the old guard and one very enterprising student who brought a uniquely individual voice to 20th century American music. This week, it’s Parker and Ives.
J. S. BachJ. S. Bach

Archive of The United States of Bach #0325

It is as simple as Bach’s instructions, “Push the right key and the right time and the organ plays itself.” With that in mind, we’ll discover just how much diversity there is behind that seemingly obvious instruction. Listen to six American soloists on as many American instruments will treat us to Preludes and Fantasies, melodious chorale-settings and vibrant fugues. In a cross-country survey, from churches in South Dakota, Georgia, Michigan and Utah and university halls in Arizona and Texas, we celebrate Baroque organ music at its best and show Johann Sebastian the American way. It’s the United States of Bach.
1990 Möller organ at Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC1990 Möller organ at Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC

Matrimonial Magic #0324

If this music makes you think of weddings and beautiful brides, you’re right on target. This broadcast is a collection of preludes, processionals and other pages in praise of matrimony and the emotions and circumstances which lead us to the altar. Whether it be Handel’s Hornpipe or Mendelssohn’s familiar Wedding March, a Salute to Love by Elgar, or Duke Ellington’s In a sentimental mood, you’ll be amazed by the various ways composers have dealt with love and its ramifications. Trumpet tunes and blessings, salutes to love and lullabies, it’s all part of the package when two people tie the knot at a June wedding, and we provide the music appropriate to a chapel or cathedral creating Matrimonial Magic.
1862 Walcker; 1947 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Methuen Music Hall in Methuen, MA1862 Walcker; 1947 Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Methuen Music Hall in Methuen, MA

Summer Fun #0323

It’s time to take the organ out of its religious context, and enjoy it out of doors at Balboa Park in San Diego. We’ll also visit other venues where summer concerts win new friends for the King of Instruments. From the Methuen Music Hall in Massachusetts to the Mormon Tabernacle, from Balboa Park in San Diego to the Berks County Museum in Pennsylvania, we celebrate a season of adventure and discovery, a sampler of seasonal recital venues coast to coast. It’s all about having some Summer Fun.

Gemini Jewels #0322

From an historic monastery in Austria to Princeton University chapel, this week’s show features the work of three composers who happen to be born under the sign of The Twins [as in astrology, not baseball]. We’ll hear a Sonata for Organ and Strings by Daniel Pinkham, Gospel Preludes and a Princeton premiere by William Bolcom, and tantalizing toccatas from the 17th century by Georg Muffat. Join in as we celebrate their 80th, 65th and 250th late spring birthdays with a chest full of Gemini Jewels.

A Percy Whitlock Centenary Tribute #0321

One thing he never lacked was grace and charm. This week, we explore the work of a prodigiously talented yet short-lived minor English master. Whether writing for cathedral or parish use, or for his later involvement as a municipal organist, Percy Whitlock’s gentle and engaging personality made many friends for him. His compositions were conservative for his time but each possess a rich emotion and sly wit. After one hundred years, we remember him still, with A Percy Whitlock Centenary Tribute.
2002 Letourneau organ at the Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, Alberta2002 Letourneau organ at the Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton, Alberta

Winspear Wonder #0320

This week we celebrate the inauguration of a new instrument, the Davis Concert Organ at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. To date, it is the largest production from the shop of the Letourneau Organ Company of Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec. With 96 stops and more than 6500 pipes, it lays claim to being the biggest mechanical-action instrument to be installed in a concert hall in modern times. Christopher Herrick shows it off in a colorful collection of solo works, and Rachel Laurin teams up with Marion Bernardi and the Edmunton Symphony for the world premiere of grand new concerto by Jacques Hetu. In cooperation with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, we are pleased to present Ferrand Letourneau’s Winspear Wonder.
1858 Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Church of Saint Jean, Elbeuf, France1858 Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Church of Saint Jean, Elbeuf, France

Going on Record #0319

From sprightly Renaissance dances to grandious concertos, this week’s show celebrates the many diverse elements that make organ music so remarkable. The fact that this instrument dates from the 16th century adds a sense of history. Beyond that, however, style, emotion, and compositional and mechanical ingenuity all play a part in creating an art filled that creates a multi-faceted experience ranging from restraint to rejoicing. Whether in a charming transcription, an anthem accompaniment, or a zesty concert finale, the king of instruments does it all. Discover it yourself as we listening to recently released compact discs from around the world. We’re Going On Record.
1981 Garnier organ at Metz Cathedral, France1981 Garnier organ at Metz Cathedral, France

Six“B”s from Britain #0318

You know how it is, one thing leads to another. This week’s program is no exception and put itself together quite magically to celebrate the Centenary of English composer Lennox Berkeley. There are works by Berkeley, of course, but also a prelude by Dr. John Bull, a Voluntary or Fugue by Boyce or Burney, a sonata by Bairstow and a heroic march by Brewer. In the end, it’s four centuries of keyboard composers creating a melodious miscellany. Hope you enjoy the works of Six ‘B’s from Britain.
1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ of Saint Sulpice, Paris, France1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ of Saint Sulpice, Paris, France

Te Deum! #0317

It’s almost like a peal of bells, and why not, since this week’s program is all about praise. The phrase We praise you, oh God. We acknowledge you to be the Lord… has inspired composers through the centuries. Dupré, Attaignant, Buxtehude, and Demessieux, have each created monuments on this text and we’ll also listen to a very snappy setting from the French Baroque by Charpentier, as well as chorale versions by Britten and Berlioz. The celebrations continue through time and traditions, as we shout our praise: Te Deum!