Shop

Pipedreams Premieres CD

Pipedreams Premieres Vol. 1

An introduction from Michael Barone…

This project came about as a result of much “pipedreaming.” The foremost fantasy, of course, was the notion of Pipedreams itself, a weekly 90-minute national radio program devoted to organ music. During its many years on the air, Pipedreams has broadcast more program minutes of pipe organ music for national distribution than any prior organ program in American radio history.

We felt some sort of celebration was in order. So, since we’d documented a number of first performances, we decided to collect some of those works for which Pipedreams was the first major venue of outreach. Through a process more pragmatic than fair, we settled upon the items included here, which, I think, are representative of our work (and the activity of organists and composers) while being by no means an exhaustive or exhausting survey. The notion of “premieres” was paramount, as was the desire to create an interesting and varied recorded recital for your enjoyment. I hope you think we have succeeded in that!

My hearty thanks go to all whose contributions - as players, composers, scholars, engineers, and promoters - have brought this little project to fruition. And, more so, I am beholden to everyone for whom organ music is not a peripheral interest but an absolute necessity and sustenance. May the resonant moments contained herein bring you to joy, amazement, and satisfaction in equal measure. Play it again, Sam!

Track Listings

1. STEPHEN LOHER (b. 1941)
*Fanfare Improvisation [1:30]
Stephen Loher, organist
1938-1962 Aeolian-Skinner organ, 94 ranks
Saint Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, New York, NY

2. J.S. BACH (1685-1750) – Michael Ferguson (b. 1958)
*Contrapunctus XIV [11:50] (Holbrook & Associates)
 Michael Ferguson, organist
1979 C.B. Fisk organ, 97 ranks
House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Saint Paul, MN

3. GIAN CARLO MENOTTI (b. 1911)
*Ricercare [9:30] (G. Schirmer)
John Weaver, organist
1934-1974 Aeolian-Skinner-Casavant organ, 123 ranks
Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

4. LEONARD DANEK (b. 1949)
*Flowers [2:17] (unpublished)
Leonard Danek, organist
1979 Sipe organ, 78 ranks
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Minneapolis, MN

5-7. WILLIAM BOLCOM (b. 1938)
*Gospel Preludes, Book IV (Edward B. Marks Music Company)
*I. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child [3:05]
*II. Sweet Hour of Prayer [4:32]
*III. Fantasy on O Zion Haste and How Firm a Foundation [7:17]
Marilyn Mason, organist
1954-1967-1978 Aeolian-Skinner-Adams-Bufano organ, 216 ranks
The Riverside Church, New York, NY

8. MONTE MASON (b. 1949)
*Psalm 139: Domine, Probasti [10:12] (unpublished)
The Gregorian Singers
Monte Mason, director
James Frazier, organist
John Seboldt, synthesizer
1963 Aeolian-Skinner organ, 41 ranks
The Cathedral of Saint Paul, Saint Paul, MN

9. BRUCE SIMONDS (1895-1989)
*Dorian Prelude on Dies Irae [11:31] (Oxford University Press)
Edward Berryman, organist
1932-35 Aeolian-Skinner organ, 110 ranks
Northrop Auditorium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

10. NANCY PLUMMER FAXON (b. 1914)
*Intermezzo for Organ [2:55] (Carl Fischer-out of print)
John Weaver, organist
1920 E. M. Skinner Opus 308 (relocated and expanded to 123 ranks, 1985-90)
Old South Church, Boston, MA

11. FELIX MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY (1809-1847)
**Allegro, Chorale & Fugue in D minor/D Major [7:39] (Novello)
Thomas Murray, organist
1938-1962 Aeolian-Skinner organ, 94 ranks
Saint Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, New York, NY

* Only available recording
** First available recording


Pipedreams Live CD
Pipedreams Live CD
MPR

Pipedreams Live!

An introduction from Michael Barone…

Since the production of our first Pipedreams compact disc in 1993, we had been thinking about doing another. While we intend eventually to continue the premieres theme of our first album, in this collection you can see that we’ve elected to follow a different path.

Live performance is exciting! It’s also full of pitfalls and potential blemishes, but when the synapses are sizzling, and the fates are smiling (and not coughing, rustling their programs, or making too many other disruptive noises), the results can be magical. Presented here are just a few of those special moments which have been captured by the Pipedreams microphones.

There is quite a spread of time here - two decades from 1973 to 1993 - representing many notes under the fingers and many inevitable advancements in recording technology. There’s quite a spread of repertoire, too, with the majority of these pieces not otherwise available on disc. Even the Mendelssohn Concerto has its unique features.

As you play through this album, it will be apparent that these were not session recordings. They are documents of actual concerts, particular moments never to be repeated. While I admit having been tempted to re-record some selections, ultimately I realized that the miracle of communication captured by these tapes could not be recreated on command.

Organ music is many things to many people. One thing, to my ears, which it definitely is not is commonplace and dull. This instrument attracts and enjoys the artistry of some of the world’s outstanding musicians, incomparable and compelling virtuosos, who astound us with their intense vision and beguile us with their humanity. I hope you enjoy listening to a few of them here wonderful exemplars of Pipedreams Live!

Track Listings:

JOHANN STRAUSS II(1825-1899)

1. Emperor Waltz [8:00]
Peter Conte, organist
1908 Robert Hope Jones organ (with many expansions), 146 ranks
Ocean Grove Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ

CLARENCE MADER (1904-1971)

2. *Afternoon of a Toad (unpublished) [4:58]
Cherry Rhodes, organist
1992 C.B. Fisk organ, 84 ranks
Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX

3. *October Interlude from Organ Music (Avant Music) [7:07]
Cherry Rhodes, organist
1934-1974 Aeolian-Skinner-Casavant organ, 123 ranks
Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

HEALEY WILLAN (1880-1968)

4. *Prelude & Fugue in C Minor (H.T. FitzSimons) [8:58]
Anne Wilson, organist
1863 E.B. Walcker/1947 Aeolian-Skinner organ, 115 ranks
Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, MA

J. S. BACH (1685-1750)

5. *Largo (2nd movement) from Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1043 [7:00]
Wolfgang Rübisan, organist, with Jeffrey I. Campbell, assisting organist
1964 Aeolian-Skinner, 100 ranks
Alice Millar Chapel, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

EUGENE HANCOCK (1929-1994)

*Four Spirituals from An Organ Album of Spirituals (Lorenz Publishing Company)
6. We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder [4:10]
7. Go Tell It on the Mountain [2:00]
8. My Lord, What a Morning [3:25]
9. Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho [1:32]
Robert Scoggin, organist
1967-1983 Robert Sipe organ, 64 ranks
Christ United Methodist Church, Rochester, MN

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)

10. *Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 25 [19:55]
Robert B. Pitman, pianist; George Lamphere, organist
1863 E.B. Walcker/1947 Aeolian-Skinner organ, 115 ranks
Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, MA

GUY BOVET (b. 1942)
11. **Hamburger Totentanz (Oxford University Press) [5:10]
John Scott, organist
1928 Welte/1961 Meller/1983 Gould organ, 75 ranks
The Cathedral Church of Saint Mark, Minneapolis, MN

* Only available recording
** First available recording


Pipedreams Premieres Vol 2 CD

Pipedreams Premieres, Volume 2

An introduction from Michael Barone…

Pipedreams Premieres, Volume 2, the third from this source, highlights works by several exceptional twentieth-century composers, with an international array of soloists and eight different instruments. The majority of the pieces appear here on CD for the first time.

The two major items come from Minnesota. Libby Larsen’s complex three-movement score, Aspects of Glory (1990), explores the moods and contexts of emotional and religious uplift. The Organ Concerto (1992) by Stephen Paulus contributes a brilliant and engaging new piece for organ, strings and percussion to the repertoire. Also included are two items by Black composers (Sowande and Kerr), a score created for an organ competition, a lyric piece by the former music director of the National Cathedral in Washington, a haunting movement for organ and electronic tape, and a mystical exploration of the power of an antique temperament.

The opening track is Brent Weaver’s brash Fanfare and Antiphons (1992), written for an organ competition at Spivey Hall at Clayton State College in Morrow, Georgia. Susan Klotzbach, who won the competition, recorded the piece on the hall’s dynamic Italian-built Ruffatti concert organ, which she uses fully.

Blissfully uncomplicated, the Cantilena by Richard Wayne Dirksen, is a movement from an otherwise unpublished organ sonata. Dirksen is best know for his many years as head of music at the Washington Cathedral in our nation’s capitol. The sense of awe and wonderment in his music is compellingly captured by Nashville-based recitalist Wilma Jensen in her performance on the huge Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Riverside Church in New York City.

Recitalist Diane Belcher premiered Libby Larsen’s Aspects of Glory on the Canadian-built Casavant organ at Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. The work was commissioned for the 1990 national convention of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) held in Boston. Larsen quotes an African-American spiritual and a traditional Protestant hymn, and the composition ends with a vigorous tambourine dance.

Thomas Kerr’s Arietta and Fela Sowande’s Obangiji, touch further on ethnic themes. Kerr’s is a kind of urban and urbane blues song, lyric and rich in harmony. It’s played by Mickey Thomas Terry, a well-known scholar and promoter of African-American organ music. He was taped on a small but beautiful Aeolian-Skinner instrument at Georgetown Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. Nigerian communal singing is evoked in the exciting Sowande score, which David Hurd recorded on the historic Holtkamp organ at Fisk University in Nashville.

Works for organ and pre-recorded electronic sounds are few and rarely encountered. One supremely successful example of the genre is Richard Stewart’s haunting Prelude for Organ and Tape. It blends real and manipulated tones in a potently poetic brew. David Engen, who has been fascinated by the piece for years, performed for CD on the Schantz organ at the Church of Saint Leo the Great, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Spooky but hugely satisfying, this is a tantalizing combination of tradition and technology.

In contrast, the plaintive Ricercare by Swiss composer Guy Bovet is steadfastly old-fashioned, yet its singular simplicity provides its special power. Because of the historic tuning system used (called ‘mean-tone temperament,’ the standard way of tuning in the 17th century), even a scalar melody or a small shift in harmony takes on added poignancy and depth of emotion. The composer plays an organ by Nebraska builder Gene Bedient at Ripon College in Wisconsin.

When capacity, standing-room audiences jump up and shout hurrah, you know you’ve done something right. That’s the response generated by Stephen Paulus, who has provided the organ with an exceptional new concert piece in his Concerto for Organ, Strings and Percussion, commissioned by Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. The work’s four contrasting movements invest the organ with a rare and scintillating energy. Imaginative and colorful registrations and lively rhythmic interchange balance with moments of sweet repose and blissful musing. Robert Shaw conducted the premiere, and shortly afterwards the work was presented again to an eager AGO national convention audience. Paulus’s Concerto was the hit of the week, and subsequent listeners have been every bit as enthusiastic as were the first ones. Norman Mackenzie, who premiered the concerto, solos on the Petty-Madden organ at Trinity, with members of the Atlanta Symphony led by George Hanson (a former assistant conductor in Atlanta, now music director of orchestras in Tucson, Arizona, and Wuppertal, Germany). Our CD presents the 1992 AGO concert performance.

The CD’s total playing time is 1:10:56. A majority of the presented works appear on this disc for the first time. All received their ‘premiere’ national radio exposure through Pipedreams broadcasts.

Track Listings

1. BRENT WEAVER
Fanfare & Antophons [6:11]
Susan Klotzbach, organist
11992 Ruffatti organ
Spivey Hall, Morrow, GA

2. RICHARD WAYNE DIRKSEN
Cantilena [5:36]
Wilma Jensen, organist
Aeolian-Skinner organ
Riverside Church, New York, NY

3-5. LIBBY LARSEN
Aspects of Glory (1990) [17:13]
Diane Meredith Belcher, organist
1950 Casavant organ
Marsh Chapel, Boston University

6. THOMAS KERR
Arietta [5:55]
Mickey Thomas Terry, organist
1957 Aeolian-Skinner organ
Georgetown Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC

7. FELA SOWANDE
Obangiji [3:48]
David Hurd, organist
1961 Holtkamp organ
Fisk University, Nashville, TN

8. RICHARD STEWART
Prelude for Organ & Tape [6:06]
David Engen, organist
1985 Schantz organ
Saint Leo’s Church, Saint Paul, MN

9. GUY BOVET
Ricercare [5:28]
Guy Bovet, organist
1982 Bedient organ
Ripon College, Ripon, WI

10-13. STEPHEN PAULUS
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Percussion (1992) [22:15]
Norman Mackenzie, organist
George Hanson conducts members of the Atlanta Symphony
1987 Pett-Madden organ
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA


Pipedreams Premieres Vol 3 CD

Pipedreams Premieres Vol. 3 - Henry Martin’s compositions, obviously inspired by Bach and infused with the spirit of jazz, proved intriguing, kind of like taking the Swingle Sisters or the Jacques Loussier Trio's jazzed-up reading of Bach to the next level. I then realized that Henry himself had recorded a companion album of the remaining 12 preludes and fugues, thus creating a thoroughly modern revisioning of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier idea.



How to Order

For your convenience, we offer two ordering options for obtaining this compact disc.

Please understand that a significantly larger percentage of your payment will directly benefit the ongoing production of our weekly broadcasts. . .if you purchase this CD through the Pipedreams Office.

We appreciate your participation.

Please use our order form. Pipedreams Order Form