Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards

Recordings by Eastman Alumni

Landing AA Voulme 4 album cover

Land AA Volume 4
Tiffany Ng
Land_AA is an 11-volume set of artist books that explore the legacy and mythology of American photographer Ansel Adams. Volume 4 is a response to finding a 50-year-old recording of Adams typing an unknown letter. Nine composers and musicians were commissioned to respond to the recording and a precise notated transcription of it, including Tiffany Ng, who recorded both traditional and mechanically-foregrounded versions of her performances on the 43-ton Charles Baird Carillon at the University of Michigan. The 12″ LP is accompanied by an essay by University of Rochester alumnus Godfre Leung, the notated transcription, and typewriter art by Lenka Clayton.

Amazing Grace: Organ Music of Adolphous Hailstork
Jim Kosnik
A student of H. Owen Reed, Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond, Adolphus Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, various chamber ensembles, band and orchestra (his Symphony No. 1 can be heard on Albany TROY104 and works for chorus can be heard on TROY156). Significant performances by major orchestras (Philadelphia, Chicago and New York) have been conducted by leading names such as James dePriest, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim and Kurt Masur. Dr. Hailstork resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia and is Eminent Scholar and Professor of Music at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He also has a connection to our area in upstate New York; he writes, “I began taking organ lessons in the 1950s as a member of the boy’s and men’s choir of the Episcopal Cathedral of All Saints in Albany, New York. During my last two years in high school I served as the organist/choir director during the summer. Several decades later I returned to the instrument as organist/choir director at the Unitarian Church of Norfolk, Virginia. In the 1990s I also resumed organ lessons with Dr. James Kosnik (the soloist on this CD), a colleague of mine on the faculty of Old Dominion University. I have written several works for my own service use at the Unitarian Church and for concert use for advanced performers such as Dr. Kosnik.”

Sevenfold Gifts
Margaret Kvamme
Composers since the 16th century have reveled in writing sets of variations, exploring the wealth of possibilities in a pre-composed theme, often a hymn-tune. The pipe organ is the perfect candidate for presenting these variations not only because of its connection to the church and hymn singing but because of the myriad variety of colors and textures it offers. Canadian-born Maragaret Kvamme’s unique program shows off the organ as the ideal medium for this kind of music. Ms. Kvamme, first-prize winner of the 1993 Naples International Organ Festival Competition, has performed extensively throughout the Bay Area, in Michigan, New York, Arizona, and Ontario, Canada. She has appeared on the “Distinguished Women at the Console” Series in Akron, Ohio. Ms. Kvamme performed this recording on the Felgemaker Organ Opus 506 built in 1889, Holy Cross Church, Santa Cruz, California.

O Beauty Ever Ancient and New
Choir of St. James, Los Angeles. James Buonemani, Director; Tom Mueller, Organist.
Offering the contemporary music of Baltic composers Vytautas Miškinis, Ēriks Ešenvalds, and Ola Geilo alongside the established Anglican composers William Walton and Edward Bairstow, the album also includes Francis Poulenc’s “Timor et tremor” and three compositions by James Buonemani, including the title work written in 2011 for chorus and orchestra. Anchoring this mostly contemporary selection of music is the motet “Salve Regina” by the sixteenth-century Spanish composer Cristóbal de Morales.
Regarding the title work, conductor/composer Buonemani writes:

“Humans have always celebrated the cycle of life, where death is the gateway to birth, and birth to death, in ritual and song – a retelling of ancient stories in new and immediate ways. These are the ineffable mysteries of Christianity, and indeed, of all life: a Beauty Ever Ancient Ever New.”

The album is available at St. James In-The_City Episcopal Church website and from your favorite music retailer.

Preludes and Postludes for the year beginning 9-11-2001
Susan Ferré
Organ by Paul Fritts, works by Karg-Elert, Smyth, Bolcom, Fanny Mendelssohn, Langlais, Tournemire, Alain, Duruflé, Messiaen, and Liszt, remembering the music which was heard throughout the year from 9/11/01 to the end of the school year.

Hommage a Jean Langlais
Susan Ferré
Music of Jean Langlais, played by Susan Ferré in 1969 with the composer at her side. 

Music of Liszt, Bach, Karg-Elert, Messiaen, Langlais & Duruflé, played by Susan Ferré
Susan Ferré
On Opus 69 Bedient organ at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Rogers, Arkansas 

Stories from the Human Village: War and Peace
Susan Ferré
Combines original narrative and music to take the listener on a journey through human experience over 400 years of history. 
Music of Scarlatti, Soler, Anonymous, de Lalande, Bach, Viola and Angles

Frederick Teardo Plays the Organ in Saint Thomas Church in Strasbourg
Frederick Teardo
Recording of the Johann Andreas Silbermann pipe organ in Strasbourg. Organist Frederick Teardo plays French-influenced Works of Bach, De Grigny & Boyvin.

Brenda Lynne Leach
Organist and conductor Brenda Lynne Leach makes her debut solo organ CD on the Berghaus organ at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with a varied program ranging from the baroque to the contemporary.  Her all-European program features two new miniature works by Zsolt Gárdonyi (Hungary) and Fredrik Sixten (Sweden).  The program also includes a newly-discovered, recently-published organ chorale prelude, by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Barbara Raedeke
Barbara Raedeke plays the Juget-Sinclair organ op. 32 completed in 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, a smaller but acoustically splendid building constructed in 1938 with great architectural integrity and interest. Her program demonstrates the organ via repertoire in romantic and classical eras from the German and French national styles. The CD booklet contains the stoplist, registrations, photos of the organ and building, and essays: one by John Speller on the organ and the building, and another by Barbara Raedeke on the music.

La Passione Secondo Giovanni
Alexandra Fol and Jean-Pierre Couturier
“La Passione Secondo Giovanni” proposes a selection of sacred music compositions dating from the medieval age to the present day. The main body of the disc comprises works by Jean-Pierre Couturier.

The list of tracks includes among others the work that gives its name to the album. A real tour de force of a cappella music, this setting of the liturgical text of the Passion according to saint John is conceived as a single long movement whose sections are interspersed with interludes for violoncello, which can be interpreted as a separate work.

The present disc also contains Níio tekwanonhwerá:tons (Te Deum) – the first original composition in the Mohawk language, other than adaptations of already existing music. The singer, Alexandra Fol, was assisted by two members of this First Nations community to learn the language pronunciation. The world premiere of this Te Deum took place at the Mohawk Sanctuary of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in Kahnawake in October of 2017.

A commission by Disques Benedictus, Salve, Regina, showcases the wide range of baritone Jean-Pierre Couturier. The tender music of romantic aesthetic, inspired by the organ’s capacity to emphasize harmonic accumulation by means of timbral diversification, recalls large-scale works for soloists as well as more accessible liturgical works.

The works that complete the CD selection include Fauré’s En prière in a new and natural translation into Italian. An album where everyone will find their ounce of happiness!

A New Springtime
Daniel Knaggs, including performances by Crista Miller
New Works by Daniel Knaggs for voices, organ, brass, and percussion.

Bonjour and Willkommen
Crista Miller
A Franco-German Debut. Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston, TX.

Denver Jubilee
Eric Plutz
In this, the premiere recording of the 4-manual, 96-rank, 5,961-pipe, Kimball organ (1938, Opus 7231) of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Denver, Colorado, as restored by Spencer Organ Company (Mr. Joseph Rotella), Princeton University Organist Eric Plutz performs a classical and symphonic program, spanning the 19th and 20th century American and European traditions.

French Trilogy
Eric Plutz
The debut recording of the gloriously-restored G. Donald Harrison signature organ, Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1257 (dated 1955), at James F. Byrnes Auditorium on the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, features Princeton University Organist Eric Plutz, in an all-French program of works by Gabriel Pierné, Camilee Saint-Saëns and Louis Vierne.  Restoration was completed in 2009 by Orgues Létourneau.

Eric Plutz, with Professor John V. Flemming
Princeton University Organist Eric Plutz plays the Aeolian-Skinner/Mander organ of Princeton University Chapel

Musique Héroïque 
Eric Plutz
Princeton University Organist Eric Plutz plays Heroic Music on the Aeolian-Skinner / Mander organ of Princeton University Chapel, and is joined by members of the Washington Symphonic Brass.

Organ Music of René Louis Becker, Vol. 3
Damin Spritzer
Damin Spritzer records her third volume of organ works of René Louis Becker (1882-1956), the prolific Alsatian-American composer, teacher, and organist who worked 52 years in St. Louis, Illinois, and Michigan. The CD is the first recording of the beloved and now completed 1938 Kimball organ at St. John‘s Cathedral, Denver, its original 96 ranks intact and restored, with the antiphonal added as planned in 1938 but not installed until 2016, with 17 ranks. The organ is featured on the cover of the July 2017 TAO. Damin Spritzer’s previous two volumes of Becker’s works received stellar reviews.

Universe of Poetry
Michael Unger
Michael Unger, 2008 First Prize Winner of the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, plays brilliantly a diverse program of works on the Paul Fritts & Company organ, Opus 26, 2008 built for Sacred Heart Cathedral, Rochester, New York. The Fritts organ, with 53 stops on three manuals and pedal, plays literature spanning several centuries, all of it handled with secure aplomb by Unger, who, in addition to the NYACOP Prize, has gained many other awards in venues on several continents.

Organ Ovations and Improvisations Organ Ovations and Improvisations
Tom Trenney
Tom Trenney, winner of the 2006 AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation, improvises two suites on hymn tunes and plays works by Bach, Schumann, Parker, Lemare, and Mendelssohn on a new three-manual organ by Patrick J. Murphy & Associates at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Baltimore.
Organ Recital: Michael Unger
Michael Unger
The music chosen for Michael Unger’s début Naxos recital follows a kind of spiritual progression from death to life, beginning with a dramatic baroque depiction of death’s dance (Praeludium
in E, Buxtehude), and concluding with an exuberant twentieth-century affirmation of religious incarnation (Dieu parmi nous, Messiaen).
Mackerel Sky Mackerel Sky
Matt Curlee and Neos
Neos gathers five musicians, each with broad backgrounds in classical, jazz, popular, ethnic, and improvisatory forms, and trains it on the task of creating something entirely unexpected. Founder and artistic director Matt Curlee has developed a reputation as a fresh voice in the organ world. Winner of the 1996 Grand Prix de Chartres, he has performed throughout North America and Europe in live, radio, and TV appearances, with symphony orchestras, and to debut new instruments. Since the release of Neos’ debut album Mackerel Sky in early 2005, Matt has also been recognized for his talents as the producer of a record that has been called “terrific” and “definitely worthy of a Grammy” by reviewers. Matt’s other recording credits include Syntax (2001), and An Austrian Neurotic in Graf Kaiserling’s Court (1999), of which Bernard Durman (The Diapason) wrote, “This CD contains some of the finest Bach playing I have ever heard, from any artist, on any organ, period…prize-winning playing from a prize winning artist!”
Organ Recital: Timothy Olsen Organ Recital: Timothy Olsen
Timothy Olsen (MM ’01)
First Prize winner of the 2002 AGO National Young Artists Competition, Olsen presents a recital on the Fisk organ at Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York on this Laureate Series recording on Naxos. Praeludium in E minor / Bruhns
4 Variations on “Unter der Linden grune” / Sweelinck
Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 / Bach
A Quaker Reader / Rorem
Chorale No. 1 in E major / Franck
Scherzo, Opus 2 / Duruflé
Introduction and Passacaglia in D minor / Reger
Carmen (trans. Edwin H. Lemare) / Bizet
Calm on the listening ear of night: Music for Advent and Christmas
Peter DuBois (BM ’80) and Chris Lane with the Chancel Choir of Third Presbyterian Church Calm on the listening ear of night… these simple words by the 19th century American hymn-writer Edmund Hamilton Sears capture much of the mystery and beauty of Christmas. The seasons of Advent and Christmas have inspired some of the most beautiful and spiritual choral music across the centuries. This CD presents some favorite selections for these high seasons of the liturgical year.
Blending Voices: Organ Music from Belgium Blending Voices: Organ Music from Belgium
Katherine Pardee (MM ’84, DMA ’87)
Toccata (in D-flat), Op. 104 / Joseph Jongen
Priere, Op. 37, No. 3
Sonata Eroica, Op. 94
Improvisata (1907) / Edgar Tinel
Sonata in G Minor, Op. 29
Fantaisie en la majeur / César Franck
Toccata, Fugue et Hymne sur Ave Maris Stella, Op. 28 / Flor Peeters
Bach on the Fritts
Jonathan Biggers (DMA ’91)
Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C
Partita Sei Gegrüsset, Jesu gütig
Preludes & Fugues in A & a
Passacaglia in c
Chorale Preludes Schmücke dich & Wenn wir in höchsten
Organ Under Glass Organ Under Glass
Peter Baicchi (BM ’92)
Works by Peeters, Vierne, Widor, Bach, and Sawyers on the 293-rank organ with 17,106 pipes at the Crystal Cathedral in California.
In Memoriam William Albright In Memoriam William Albright
Douglas Reed
Douglas Reed plays the Fisk op. 110 at Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama, Japan. The program includes two world premieres, and Michael Barone is narrator of the “King of Instruments,” which is recorded a second time with Japanese narration. This two-CD set is the first in a series of recordings that will eventually include all of Albright’s solo and ensemble organ music.
Max Reger and Historicist Modernisms Max Reger and Historicist Modernisms
Antonius Bittmann
The first comprehensive English-language account of Reger’s oeuvre, this book emphatically revises misconceptions about his music. As Bittmann argues, Reger did not turn to historical models in order to preserve or reconstitute antiquated musical languages; rather, he appropriated the musical past for the most modern ends. Taking a strong interest in reception history, Bittmann reassesses Reger’s work by drawing on a wide array of interdisciplinary sources in literary criticism, philosophy, and cultural history.
OAR-925BeckerSpritzer350 Organ Music of René Louis Becker
Damin Spritzer
René Louis Becker, born and educated in Strasbourg, France, as the son of a prominent organist, moved to the USA at age 21 in 1904 and taught music, composed prolifically, and worked as an organist in St. Louis, Illinois, and Michigan for 52 years. First recording of the restored 1789 Isnard /1890 Cavaillé-Coll organ in Pithiviers, France.

Organ Music of René Louis Becker, vol. 2
Damin Spritzer
Many selections on this disc are the first recordings of these works. As a companion to Spritzer’s first disc of Becker’s music (Raven OAR-925), this volume offers pieces truly among the most sophisticated and varied of his organ compositions. Recorded on the Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Cathedral of Sainte-Croix in Orléans, France.

heiller Organ Works of Anton Heiller
Mark Steinbach (MM ’87, DMA ’90)
Steinbach performs Heiller’s recently discovered Passacaglia of 1940 and other Heiller compositions on the ideal “period instrument” for this program: the 1962 von Beckerath 4-manual/66-stop mechanical-action organ in the reverberant acoustic of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA.  This is the first recording on this landmark mid-century instrument since its 2009 restoration by Taylor and Boody. Steinbach, who studied Heiller’s music on a Fulbright Grant in Vienna, has provided extensive notes on the program. Available now at, Amazon, or iTunes.

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