American Works for Organ and Orchestra

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American Works for Organ and Orchestra

Carlos KalmarDavid SchraderGrant Park Orchestra

  • CDR 90000 063


The longer Cedille Selects track excerpts are designed to provide a representative overview of the recording (not applicable to all albums)

    • Toccata Festiva for Organ & Orchestra, Op. 36 (1960) (14:48)

    • SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981)

      Toccata Festiva for Organ & Orchestra, Op. 36 (1960) (14:48)

    • Prelude (5:15)

    • WALTER PISTON (1894-1976)

      Prelude & Allegro for Organ & Strings (1943) (10:04)

      Prelude (5:15)

    • Allegro (4:48)

    • Allegro (4:48)

    • Concertpiece for Organ & Orchestra, H.307 (1951) (18:17)

    • LEO SOWERBY (1895-1968)

      Concertpiece for Organ & Orchestra, H.307 (1951) (18:17)

    • I. Polar Landscape (5:21)

    • MICHAEL COLGRASS (b. 1932)

      Snow Walker for Organ & Orchestra (1990) (21:42)

      I. Polar Landscape (5:21)

    • II. Throat-singing, with Laughter (1:30)

    • II. Throat-singing, with Laughter (1:30)

    • III. The Whispering Voices of the Spirits Who Ride with the Lights in the Sky (4:05)

    • III. The Whispering Voices of the Spirits Who Ride with the Lights in the Sky (4:05)

    • IV. Ice and Light (4:40)

    • IV. Ice and Light (4:40)

    • V. Snow Walker (6:03)

    • V. Snow Walker (6:03)

Album Description Download Full CD Booklet

American Works for Organ and Orchestra offers a sonic extravaganza of neglected masterpieces by noted American composers. Here are four works that showcase the spectacular sonority of full organ combined with large symphonic ensemble.

Samuel Barber's Toccata Festiva for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 36, written for the 1960 dedication of the Philadelphia Orchestra's organ, opens the program with explosive eruptions of sound leading to passages of great majesty and lyrical beauty.

Emotionally reminiscent of Barber's famous Adagio for Strings, the profoundly moving, passionate first half of Walter Piston's 1943 Prelude and Allegro for Organ and Strings (first time on CD) gives way to an exciting, rhythmically charged conclusion.

Leo Sowerby's 1951 Concertpiece for Organ and Orchestra (world premiere recording) percolates with his urbane lyricism and ebullient high spirits.

From a whole other world comes Michael Colgrass's fascinating 1990 Snow Walker for Organ and Orchestra (also a world premiere). Surging winds depicted by the strings and howling wolf cries from a trombone set the stage for this inventive, impressionistic work evoking the frozen expanses of the North American Arctic and the fortitude, humor, and spirituality of its native Inuit peoples.

Making its recording debut is the magnificent new (1998) Casavant Frères organ in Chicago's Orchestra Hall, with acclaimed organist David Schrader at the keyboards. Chicago's esteemed Grant Park Orchestra, now in its seventh decade, makes its own commercial recording debut, with principal conductor Carlos Kalmar at the helm.

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Program Notes

Album Details

Total Time: 65:15

Producers: James Ginsburg & Bill Maylone
Engineer: Christopher Willis
Cover Photography: Grant Park Music Shell c. 1940.
Photo: © Chicago Park District Special Collections
Design: Melanie Germond
Notes: Richard E. Rodda

This recording is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
Recorded: July 8 & 9, 2000 (Barber, Sowerby) and July 7 & 8, 2001 (Piston, Colgrass) in Orchestra Hall, Chicago.

©2002 Cedille Records/Cedille Chicago

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