1932 Bartholomay organ at Saint Vincent de Paul, RCC1932 Bartholomay organ at Saint Vincent de Paul, RCC

The Pipes of Philadelphia #0316

Travel with us to the City of Brotherly Love. We’ll listen to a diverse group of instruments of various tone and texture, from a little Dieffenbach chamber organ that’s more than 200 years old to the lavish 1931 Skinner organ at Girard College. Our music also covers the gamut, from a Colonial voluntary to a Mexican toccata. Celebrate two centuries of the art of organbuilding in America, with a sampler of resilient, vintage instruments recorded in and around Philly. My friends in the Organ Historical Society and I invite you to join us for a celebration of The Pipes of Philadelphia.
1900 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint Sever, Provence, France1900 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint Sever, Provence, France

Resurrection Revelations #0315

The times, they are a-changing, and these days of evolving springtime bring equal measure of mystery and marvel. This week, we muse on this transformation of life with music for the spring festival of rebirth. French, German and American composers reflect on the Easter message. Marcel Dupré ponders the unknowable, Pierre Cochereau celebrates with dances and jubilation, while Richard Webster trumpets a Paschal Fanfare for the Risen Christ. Celebrate the coming of spring with music inspired by the Easter Festival. In parish chapels and historic cathedrals, we rejoice in Resurrection Revelations.
2000 Austin organ at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, China2000 Austin organ at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, China

Out in the Hall #0314

If you naturally think of the pipe organ as a church instrument, think again. This week, we celebrate three organ installations from concert Halls in China, Australia and England. Carol Williams shows off the Connecticut-built Austin organ in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Thomas Heywood gives us the before-and-after treatment at Melbourne Town Hall, where the 1929 Hill organ was expanded and modernized by the Schantz Company of Ohio, and at the new concert hall in Birhmigham, England, Thomas Trotter pulls out all the stops. Click and listen to concert music for concert instruments. This week, we’re not in a church but Out in the Hall.
1887 Henry Willis organ at Truro Cathedral1887 Henry Willis organ at Truro Cathedral

Wisdom of the Ages #0313

The King of Instruments enjoys a long and proud tradition. This week we’ll celebrate this heritage with instruments in all of the major European countries where the art of the organ was born and fostered. The peripatetic Charles Burney, who wrote much about organs and organists encountered during his famous travels, contributes a tune to our medley as do Domenico Scarlatti, Vicente Hervas, Michel Corrette, and Georg Böhm. Everything old IS new again as we listen to historic instruments playing German, French, English, Italian, and Spanish music, all with perfect accent, the way it was meant to be. We honor tradition as the voices from these old pipes reveal the Wisdom of the Ages.
1929 Skinner organ at Woolsey Hall, Yale University1929 Skinner organ at Woolsey Hall, Yale University

Wagner at the Console #0312

This week’s program redirects Richard Wagner’s focus to an instrument which sounds as lofty as any of as his own artistic ideas. Unlike Bach, Wagner never composed for solo organ but LIKE Bach his music adapts well to transcription. Listen to and enjoy your favorite overtures, choruses, arias and scenes convincingly transformed by such keyboard greats as Thomas Murray, Simon Preston, Carlo Curley and Anthony Newman. Hold onto your horses. It’s opera without singers, pipes without preludes and fugues, and an atypical anomally as some of the grandest 19th century music is magically transformed in a manner possible only in the realm of the King of Instruments. This week we discover a surprise in every measure when we find Wagner at the Console.
1746 Hildebrandt organ at Saint Wenzel Church, Naumburg, Germany1746 Hildebrandt organ at Saint Wenzel Church, Naumburg, Germany

Bach’s Royal Instruments #0311

Although we’ll never be able to find a definitive Bach organ, we do know where he played and the sorts of instruments which influenced him. On this week’s show, we’ll visit the church in Arnstadt, Bach’s first important job, drop in at the Castle Church in Lahm, where he helped a cousin with the organ design, and at Altenburg Palace where, later, his best pupil, Krebs, was employed. We’ll hear an instrument by Silbermann, who Bach respected but with whom he did not see eye-to-eye, also the new organ at Saint Thomas Church, Leipzig, modeled after one in Bach’s hometown, and the extraordinary Hildebrandt masterpiece in Naumburg, which we think Bach designed. Bach traveled the countryside as Germany’s foremost recitalist, and we follow his footsteps to hear the sounds he knew and the organs which were important in his growth as an artist. Come with us to Arnstadt, Altenburg, Naumburg, Leipzig and Lahm, as we revisit history and celebrate Bach’s Royal Instruments.
Johann Sebastian BachJohann Sebastian Bach

Bach On the Wild Side #0310

It’s J.S. Bach, but with a difference. An entire additional voice grafted onto a simple two-part invention makes a fiendishly difficult trio, but that’s just for starters. This week, we take a step beyond our usual understanding of Bach and listen to some of his most challenging scores brought to the edge by provocative modern interpretors. We’ll hear a jazzy reworking of the Air on the G-String, a Dutch rock musician’s take on the famous Toccata, and Porter Heaps’ Swinging After Bach. From youthful virtuosity to arrangements beyond-the-pale, performers, composers and transcribers visit with the great master from Leipzig and invite him out for a real trip. Be prepared for excitement and surprise as we take Bach on the Wild Side.
1991 Reuter organ at the University of the Ozarks, AR.1991 Reuter organ at the University of the Ozarks, AR.

Women’s Work #0309

They’ve come a long way, from motherhood and home life to professions and entrepreneurial adventures. This week’s broadcast celebrates the contributions of women as composers for the organ. From modern day talents such as Libby Larsen, Margaret Sandresky and Emma Lou Diemer, to the once neglected pioneering energies of Maria Theresa von Paradies, Gracia Baptista and Fanny Mendelssohn, we’ll enjoy a variety of styles and textures including thoughtful chorale-preludes, graceful dances, and vigorous toccatas. Christa Rakich provides anecdotal introductions and performances recorded at Columbia University Chapel in New York City on Women’s Work and the ‘better half’ of organ music.
1987 Casavant organ at Jack Singer Concert Hall1987 Casavant organ at Jack Singer Concert Hall

Calgary Festival Highlights (Part 2) #0307

They earned their gold, and you’ll hear why as this week’s show features prize-winners from Canada’s renowned Calgary International Organ Competition. Vincent Dubois surprised even himself, while the improvisations of Laszlo Fassang, the deft playing of Canadian music by Jonathan Oldengarm, Iveta Apkalna’s Bach, and Clive Driskill-Smith’s excellent ensemble guaranteed these artists a share in some of the best money a young organist can earn. We share their musicianship, and their moments of glory with you, in the second of three broadcasts in a series of Calgary Festival Highlights. Don’t miss a note of it, they won’t.
1987 Casavant organ at Jack Singer Concert Hall1987 Casavant organ at Jack Singer Concert Hall

Calgary Festival Highlights #0306

They are fleet of foot and finger, and are the hope for our future. This week, revel in the talent of an international array of soloists, recorded during one of the world’s most prestigeous contests for young players. You may already know about Bach and Widor, even Messiaen, Middleschulte and Calvin Hampton. But soon you’ll know why they applauded mightily for Christian Schmitt, Hyun Jung Kim, Eva Bublova and Cameron Carpenter. Prizes of up to $25,000 were offered. Can you pick the winners. Tune in for Part 1 of 3 in a series of Calgary Festival Highlights.
1982 Oberlinger organ at Marktkirche [Market Church], Wiesbaden, Germany1982 Oberlinger organ at Marktkirche [Market Church], Wiesbaden, Germany

Blending Black and White #0305

Old world resonances come together in new world experiences on this week’s show, it’s a discovery of colorful and unusual works on African-American themes. Noel DaCosta adapts Nigerian tunes in his Ukom Memory Songs for organ and percussion, Dezsö Antalffy transforms Black spirituals in a splendid solo fantasy from the 1930s, and Pulitzer Prize-winner George Walker evokes images of craggy heights in his new solo titled Spires. Mickey Thomas Terry provides personal glimpses to repertoire which juxtaposes light and shade with vivid result. Duke Ellington’s urbanaty, southern spirituals and Nigerian funeral chants all figure in our program of music on African American themes. We’re blending Black and White together, with colorful results, this week’s broadcast.
1761 J.A. Silbermann organ at Arlesheim Cathedral, Switzerland1761 J.A. Silbermann organ at Arlesheim Cathedral, Switzerland

Concertos a la Carte #0304

We may properly give Handel credit for inventing the organ concert, but as this program reveals, Italian composers were on the scene, both before and afterwards. The true father of the ‘concerto proper’ was Arcangelo Corelli, whose grand works proved attractive to an English arranger. Vivaldi included the organ amongst groups of other solo instruments, and Bach transformed Vivaldi’s string pieces into recital music for virtuoso organists, who also are well served by Alfredo Casella’s Romantic Concerto from 1926, a sonorous extravagance. Join us for this special collection, Concertos a la Carte.
1863 Hill; 1903; 1960 Walker; 1993 Coffin organ at York Minster1863 Hill; 1903; 1960 Walker; 1993 Coffin organ at York Minster

Windows of Opportunity #0303

The sound of music creates a sense of place, but on this week’s show we fill that place with images and colors through works inspired by stained glass windows in churches and cathedrals. From the Rose Windows at the Sacred Heart Basilica in Paris, or the Church of Saint Ouen in Rouen expressed through works of Henri Mulet and Marcel Dupré, to the picturesque Tiffany windows at First Presbyterian, Topeka, Kansas, and some movements commissioned on their behalf from composer Dan Locklair, you’ll be amazed at the juxtaposition of these art forms. See the light and hear the colors - organ works on pictoral themes - as they resonate through Windows of Opportunity.
Martin HaselböckMartin Haselböck

Haselböck Live! #0302

Obviously, his fingers do the talking. Though he’s spending most of his energy as a guest conductor; and leading revelatory performances by his Vienna Akademie Orchestra, Austrian recitalist Martin Haselböck still savors his first love, which is the pipe organ. This week, we’ll enjoy his lively playing and insightful commentary in selections from Bach to Bruckner. Recorded while in concert on the recent Fritz Noack instrument at the Chapel of the Saint Paul Seminary in Minnesota, you’ll be impressed with his interpretation and technique. Listen to performances of Haydn, Heiller, Froberger and Muffat, plus an improvisation combining Ach, du lieber Augustine and Deep River. Experience the energy of Martin Haselböck Live! Recorded during a special Pipedreams Live! event at the Saint Paul Seminary Chapel in Minnesota.
1991 Ahrend organ at the Basilica of San Simpliciano, Milan, Italy, Italy1991 Ahrend organ at the Basilica of San Simpliciano, Milan, Italy, Italy

A Sojourn in Italy #0301

We trace back root causes on this week’s show, exploring composers in Italy, who laid the foundations for much of what we enjoy in classical music today. And organbuilders, too, whose instruments in Bologna, Treviso, Turin and Pistoia retained an unparalleled degree of simplicity of design and purity of sound across four centuries of European history. Their unique character blooms in the special idioms of Frescobaldi, Pasquini, Valeri and others, as we discover during A Sojourn in Italy.