Section of the 1954-1990 Schantz organ at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark, New Jersey

Schantz organ at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark, N.J.

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Programs that feature this organ

#0001: Going on Record

The organ places a brave foot forward into the new millennium, in solos and in the company of brass ensembles and symphonic bands, with sonic spectaculars and sweet soft sounds, too. This week Pipedreams celebrates the many characters of the king of instruments with a sampler of new instruments, recent repertoire and young players. Enjoy the demure delights of the organ at Pembroke College, Cambridge and the expansive voice of one of America’s largest instruments at the West Point Cadet Chapel. David Fedor teams up with the Ridgewood Concert Band in New Jersey, Paul Halley improvises at Spivey Hall, and Allison Leudecke and the Millennia Consort usher in a new century.

#0144: Felicitous Felix

He took his first keyboard lesson at age seven, and only two years later won an important competition, made his international recital debut, and took on the duties of a church organist. Talk about precocious. On our next Pipedreams program, we visit with the talented young German phenom, Felix Hell, a student at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with three compact discs and more than 200 recitals to his credit in Europe, Russia, and the United States. Did we mention that he just turned 16? We’ll chat with Felix and his father Hans-Friedrich, listen to performances from ‘the early years’, and sample his current state-of-the-art in concert and on CD. And you thought that organ music was only for old folks? Audiences around the world are changing their mind when presented with the dynamic playing of Felix Hell. It’s Felicitous Felix, this week on Pipedreams.

#0217: King Widor

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.

#0312: Wagner at the Console

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.