Archive of Alain On Alain (Part 2) #0729

…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.

Archive of Alain On Alain (Part 1) #0728

…the famous French recitalist, recording artist and teacher Marie-Claire Alain talks about her life and shares her music. With more than 200 albums to her credit, she is synonymous with the art of French organ music today. On our next Pipedreams program, Marie-Claire Alain talks about her family’s history, including the time when her organist father built an instrument for their home, upon which her older brother composed some of the foremost works of the 20th century. Meanwhile, this little black sheep of the talented Alain family grew up to be a famous teacher and recitalist who helped popularize the French Classics, and has recorded the complete works of Bach three times. Marie-Claire Alain talks and plays from the heart. She is a vital force in broadening the French musical perspective. Daughter and sister, teacher and recitalist, she has lived a life with and for music. Hear her story Alain on Alain this week on Pipedreams.
1942 Casavant Frères; 1999 Kegg organ, Opus 1715, at the First United Methodist Church, Cleveland, Ohio1942 Casavant Frères; 1999 Kegg organ, Opus 1715, at the First United Methodist Church, Cleveland, Ohio

Archive of Organ Plus #0721

…another exploration of the remarkable repertoire for pipe organ in consort with other instruments and voices. It’s all about collegiality. On our next Pipedreams program, the organ teams up with all sorts of friends including it’s keyboard cousin, the piano, plus other brassy relations –the trumpet and trombone. You’ll hear a little lullaby for organ and harp, a haunting fantasy for organ and electronic-tape that is amazingly effective plus a transcription of an orchestral tone poem by Franz Liszt, a spicy Baroque Concerto by Michel Corrette, and a lusty march by Alexandre Guilmant. Think variety organ with trumpet, organ with trombone, organ with choir, or harp, or piano, or symphony orchestra, even organ with electronic tape. We’re going to set aside all churchly implications and team up with many instrumental friends. Think beyond the box. Organ Plus, this week on Pipedreams.
1987 Rosales organ at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon1987 Rosales organ at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon

Archive of The Joke's On Us #0720

…share in humoresques, scherzos, fantasies and other compositions done up with a sense of fun and surprise. Who says the organ must always be so serious. It’s not all solemn processionals. The king of instruments does have a sense of humor, too, as you’ll discover on our next Pipedreams program, where wry wit, sardonic satire, and a general joviality prevail. Bill Albright’s nifty narration provides a key element, as do songs by Stephen Sondheim and Henry Mancini, scherzos and fantasies played in Souvigny and San Francisco, and a humerous hornpipe played in Sydney Australia. That’s but part of the fun. We’ll also sample concert instruments in Dallas and Yokoyama, theatre organs in Kansas and Arizona, and one of the finest French antiques from the 18th century, still capable of a big smile. Curious chords prove that the Joke is On Us - humoresques for organ, this week on Pipedreams.