Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 - A Year in Releases

As we close out 2010 and look forward to 2011, we wanted to take some time and look back at all the albums we've released in the past year!


Mendelssohn Organ Sonatas
Holzhey Organ (1787)
Abbey church of Weißenau, Germany
Jonathan Dimmock, organist

Recorded on the spectacular Holzhey organ at Weißenau Abbey (Bavaria)—an organ which Mendelssohn loved—these Sonatas synthesize Baroque and Classical style with Romantic sentiment, establishing the musical vocabulary later used by Schumann, Brahms and Liszt.

“Dimmock's recording succeeds in illustrating Mendelssohn's lineage to the great Bach tradition with extremely persuasive performances of the six organ sonatas." —Choir and Organ

FIVE STARS!

Those used to romanticised interpretations of Mendelssohn's sonatas may find this recording uncomfortable, especially in Werckmeister III temperament. Mendelssohn, however, had a penchant for classically voiced organs and was full of praise for the southern German organ builder Johann Nepomuk Holzhey. The 1787 organ in Weissenau, surviving in original condition, is an excellent choice. Dimmock's recording succeeds in illustrating Mendelssohn's lineage to the great Bach tradition with extremely persuasive performances of the six organ sonatas.
—Choir and Organ


We have listened to organist (and musical polymath) Jonathan Dimmock’s new CD, Mendelssohn Organ Sonatas (Loft Recordings LRCD-1112). These works, written late in the composer’s brief life, take full advantage of the resources of the “king of instruments” as well as being prime examples of Mendelssohn’s unique musical genius. Jonathan plays these works masterfully on the sweet-sounding 1787 Holzhey organ in Weissenau Abbey, Bavaria, a classically designed instrument of the type that Mendelssohn preferred over the later romantic organ. The CD is simply beautiful. A highlight for this listener is the finale of the Fifth Sonata, with its subtle, enchanting cascades of seraphic sounds. The audio recording is exemplary in all respects. This disc is another winner from Jonathan, and we enthusiastically recommend it, perhaps especially as a splendid introduction to those who are not (yet) organ fanciers. Jonathan’s website is www.jonathandimmock.com.
—JEAN ALEXIS SMITH E-NEWSLETTER

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The Artistry of Frederick Swann
Casavant Freres, Opus 1230 (1927/2003)
Memorial Chapel, University of Redlands, CA
Frederick Swann, Organist

Frederick Swann plays selections on the magnificent four-manual Casavant organ in Memorial Chapel at the University of Redlands.

Program:

Louis Vierne—Kyrie (Messe Solennelle)

Max Reger—Two Pieces:
  • Benedictus, Op. 59, No. 8
  • Toccata, Op. 59, No. 3

John Huston—Psalm Prelude: “By the Waters of Babylon”

Paul de Maleingreau—Symphony of the Mystic Lamb:
  1. Images

Maurice Duruflé—Meditation

Robert Hebble—Festival Fanfare (2008)

Sigfrid Karg-Elert—Symphonic Chorale: “Abide, O Dearest Jesus”

Leo Sowerby—Requiescat in Pace

Richard Purvis—Partita on “Christ ist Erstanden”
  • Prelude
  • Canzone
  • Capriccio
  • Lento
  • Toccata
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The Music of Dan Locklair
Marilyn Keiser, organist
Casavant Freres organ of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Indianapolis, Indiana

Dan Locklair is one of America's most widely performed composers. His music has been performed at Presidential inaugurations and funerals, and he was named Composer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists. Marilyn Keiser has long been a champion of his organ music and presents here the definitive performances of his most popular works.


Rubrics (A Liturgical Suite for Organ) [1988]
  1. "[The ancient praise-shout,] 'Hallelujah,' has been restored..."
  2. "Silence may be kept"
  3. "...and thanksgivings may follow."
  4. "The Peace may be exchanged."
  5. "The people respond - Amen!"


Salem Sonata for organ [2003]
  1. ("…to thee our cordial thankfulness…")
  2. ("Hallowed be thy name…")
  3. ("…We owe Thee thankfulness and praise…")
  4. ("…Let His work your pleasure be…")

PHOENIX Processional (Solo Organ Version) [1996]
    (from PHOENIX Fanfare and Processional) [1979/85]

Celebration (Variations for Organ) [2003]

The Æolian Sonata for organ [2002]
  1. Aus tiefer not (Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee)
  2. Shalom (Peace)
  3. Laudate Dominum (O Praise the Lord)

In Mystery and Wonder (The Casavant Diptych) [2004]
  1. Aria (“God moves in a mysterious way…”)
  2. Toccata (“…His wonders to perform…”)


...Marilyn's playing is, as always, technically secure, rhythmically vital, and artistically informed. Having this exemplary artist perform music that she loves is a priceless treasure! The 2007 Casavant at St. Paul's Church, Indianapolis, is an ideal vehicle for all of Dan's work. Roger W. Sherman's recording, editing, and mastering have produced a disc of most admirable sound and effect. The liner contains program notes, information and a stoplist for the organ, biographies, and technical notes.

—Victor Hill, The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians (October 2010)

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Majestus
The Great Organ of Washington National Cathedral
Scott Dettra

Scott Dettra presents a program of large-organ favorites on this, the final recording of the Washington National Cathedral's Great Organ.

Music is an integral part of daily life in most cathedrals, and Washington National Cathedral is no exception. In its primary role as a liturgical instrument, the Great Organ accompanies more than 350 worship services annually and is heard in recital and concert throughout the year as part of the cathedral’s broader musical offerings. This recording presents a cross-section of the organ music one might hear in liturgy and concert at Washington National Cathedral, including pieces that have become particular traditions here, pieces that represent the best of “cathedral music."

Fanfare for the Common Man — Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
Prelude & Fugue in B major, Op. 7, No. 1 — Marcel Dupré (1886-1971)
Prière, Op. 20 — César Franck (1822-1890)
Passacaglia, Op. 40 — Seth Bingham (1882-1972)
Rhapsody in C-sharp minor, Op. 17, No. 3 — Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 — Samuel Barber (1910-1981), arr. William Strickland (1914-1991)
Crown Imperial — William Walton (1902-1983)
Introduction, Passacaglia & Fugue, Op. 149 — Healey Willan (1880-1968)

The Majestus (also, Majestas) is the figure of Christ in Majesty, located at the center of the reredos of the high altar at Washington National Cathedral. The Majestus oversees the organ and choir stalls in the chancel, with Christ’s right hand raised in blessing…


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Haydn Sonatas: Galanterien to Sturm und Drang
Ulrika Davidsson, clavichord and fortepiano

One of Sweden's leading keyboard artists, Ulrika Davidsson, gives fresh readings of these Haydn sonatas on clavichord and fortepiano.

on Clavichord:

Sonata in D Major, Hoboken XVI:14
  • Allegro moderato
  • Menuet
  • Finale. Presto


Sonata in B flat Major, Hoboken XVI:2
  • Moderator
  • Largo
  • Menuet


On Fortepiano:

Sonata in E flat Major, Hoboken XVI:28
  • Allegro moderato
  • Menuet
  • Finale. Presto

Sonata in G Minor, Hoboken XVI:44
  • Moderato
  • Allegretto

Sonata in F Major, Hoboken XVI:23
  • Adagio
  • Finale. Presto

Sonata in E flat Major, Hoboken XVI:52
  • Allegro
  • Adagio
  • Finale. Presto

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Mornings Like This: Songs of Daybreak and Childhood
Choral Arts
(formerly Choral Arts Northwest)
Lee Thompson, Melissa Loehnig, piano
Robert Bode, conductor

Winners of The 2010 American Prize in recorded choral performance and the 2010 Margaret Hillis Award from Chorus America!

The "Pure Sound" of Choral Arts under their new director, Robert Bode presents several world premiere recordings, including The Dream Keeper, a piece in four movements, each featuring a different text from Langston Hughes. Other pieces feature the poetry of Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman and the conductor of Choral Arts, Robert Bode.

"My Lord, what a mornin'"—Spiritual, arr. Harry T. Burleigh (1866–1949)
Sunrise, from Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun (1990)—Michael Hennagin (1936–1993)
The Waking (2008)—Giselle Wyers (b. 1969) *
Fern Hill (1960)—John Corigliano (b.1938)
Dawn (2008)—Eric William Barnum (b.1979) *
A Child's Prayer (1996)—James MacMillan (b.1959)
In Dreams—John David Earnest (b. 1940)
The Dream Keeper—William Averitt (b.1948) *
  • The Dream Keeper
  • Dream Variations
  • As I Grew Older
  • Song
Will there really be a "Morning"?—Craig Hella Johnson *
Beautiful River (1995)—arr. William Hawley (b. 1950)
* World Premiere Recordings

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A Grand Celebration
The Philadelphia Orchestra live with The Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s Center City

Rossen Milanov, Conductor
Peter Richard Conte, Grand Court Organist

After a wait of over eighty years, the vast tonal palette of The Philadelphia Orchestra is joined, once more, with the world’s greatest symphonic pipe organ for this historic concert! Recorded live, September 27, 2008. Includes Joseph Jongen's Symphonie concertante, which was commissioned for the Wanamaker organ and the Phildelphia Orchestra in the 1920's, but never performed together until this "Grand Celebration".

Program Notes
Marcel Dupré: Cortege and Litany

Jongen: Symphonie concertante
  • Allegro molto moderato
  • Divertimento: Molto vivo
  • Lento misterioso—Appassionato—Tempo I
  • Toccata (Moto perpetuo): Allegro moderato
Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance, Military March in D major, Op. 39, No. 1

Billed as "A Grand Celebration," this album certainly captures the excitement associated with this once in a lifetime concert. Organist Peter Richard Conte demonstrates his total command of this windblown behemoth both from the registration as well as technical standpoints with some hand and footwork that would turn an octopus green with envy. In the first two selections, which are more solo pieces, he uses his phenomenal virtuosity never just for show, but only to serve the music. In the Elgar he gooses up the organ part just enough to make this one of the most thrilling performances of it you'll ever hear.

That's also due in no small part to the spirited playing of the Philadelphia Orchestra under its associate conductor, Rossen Milanov Their reading of the Dupré is equally effective, as is most of the Jongen. However those who cut their teeth on the groundbreaking performance of the latter with Virgil Fox (1912-1980) may find parts of the first movement a tad subdued here. Also there are some brief queasy-sounding horn passages in the lento [track-4, beginning at 11:23], but other than that everything proceeds swimmingly.

As far as recordings of live performances go without benefit of touch-up sessions to get rid of occasional coughs (two noted) and applause (after each selection), these must rank with the most impressive ever done. The soundstage is stupendous, and while the combined organ and orchestra may at times seem a bit congested, this would probably be true under any circumstances with forces of this magnitude. That said, the overall balance is simply superb, and the low frequency response remains unbelievably immaculate despite all those organ pedal points (see above) plus some heavy-duty bass drum activity in the Elgar.

Audiophiles hearing this will undoubtedly find themselves wishing it had been done in Super Audio, which might have produced a more convincing instrumental timbre in the stereo mode, and knocked everyone's socks off in multichannel. But there's a musicality about this conventional Red Book CD that will transport any listener to sonic heaven. Reading the album notes, it's easy to believe producers Roger Sherman and Frederick Haas required the services of seven recording engineers for this project. Make sure any loose objects in your listening room are tied down before playing!
-- Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found (www.CLOFO.com)
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Sky-Born Music
10th Anniversary Commissions and World Premieres

Jeffry Peterson, pianist
Stefan Kartman, cello
Indra Brusubardis, soprano
Leslie Fitswater, mezzo-soprano
Sharon A. Hansen, director


It is traditional during an anniversary year that a performing ensemble commissions a piece of music in commemoration of that milestone. Milwaukee Choral Artists went a step further by inviting ten composers to write new works for the ensemble - one for each of its ten years. Founded in 1998 as a chamber ensemble comprising professional solo singers, the Milwaukee Choral Artists is one of only a handful of professional women's vocal ensembles in the country. With its signature lush sound, MCA brings a distinctive and varied repertoire of choral and vocal masterworks to audiences throughout the region.

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Eternal Light
East Carolina University Chamber Singers

Christopher Grymes, clarinet
Christine Gustafson, flute
Christopher Uiffers, bassoon
Daniel Bara, director

One of America's great university choirs premieres new sacred works for choir and single instruments. Recorded in the sumptuous acoustics of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Greenville, NC.

Hymn to the Creator of Light — John Rutter
“O Thou Great Power in Whom I Move” * — Anthony Maglione
Veni Sancte Spiritus — Mark G. Sirett
Ave Maria — Cary Boyce
Cedit, Hyems (Be Gone, Winter!) * — Abbie Betinis
O quam gloriosum — Howard Helvey
De profundis — Ildebrando Pizzetti
Agnus Dei, (concerto for bassoon and mixed choir a cappella), Op. 167 * — Egil Hovland
  • Agnus Dei
  • Qui tollis peccata mundi
  • Miserere nobis
  • Dona nobis pacem
“I’ve Been in the Storm So Long” — Spiritual, arr. Jefferey L. Ames
“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” — Spiritual, arr. Gail B. Poch
“Eternal Light” — Leo Sowerby

* World Premiere Recordings


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Gratitude, Gravy & Garrison
Garrison Keillor
Jearlyn Steele
Richard Dworsky
VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers
Philip Brunelle, conductor

A Thanksgiving concert recorded live at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

Storyteller Garrison Keillor and conductor Philip Brunelle
lead a harmonious celebration of all things Thanksgiving with the melodious
voices of the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers and their special
guests, singer Jearlyn Steele and pianist Richard Dworsky. Along the way we
learn that Thanksgiving really isn’t all about the turkey — it’s actually all
about the pie.


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Christmas at America's First Cathedral
Baltimore Choral Arts Chorus & Orchestra
Janice Chandler Eteme, soprano
Tom Hall, conductor

Free bonus DVD included!

In addition to familiar seasonal music by Mendelssohn, Handel, Rutter, and others, Christmas at America’s First Cathedral features music from South Africa, Canada, and the United States, including the premiere recordings of seven new works by two of America’s most important African American composers, Dr. Rosephanye Powell and Dr. James Lee III. Dr. Lee’s motet, "A Clean Heart" is from a collection of four motets composed in 2009. The six selections by Dr. Powell comprise a suite called, Christmas Give, commissioned by Baltimore Choral Arts and given its world premiere December 1, 2009 at the Baltimore Basilica.

The bonus DVD includes selections from that concert, including Dr. Powell reading two poems and interviews with Tom Hall about the program and its historic venue.

Recorded in the resonant acoustics of America's first Cathedral, the Baltimore Basilica.

1. Rise Up! Arise! — Felix Mendelssohn (3:33)
2. Gabriel’s Message — Eleanor Daley (1:51)
3. Come Colours Rise — Grant McLachlan (4:46)
4. I Saw Three Ships — arr. Robert Shaw & Alice Parker (1:45)
5. Christmas Memories* — Rosephanye Powell (3:49)
6. Precious Gift His Wondrous Birth — Dave Brubeck (1:56)
7. Ring the Bells* — Powell (2:40)
8. A Clean Heart* — James Lee III (5:06)
9. Christus Natus Est*— Powell (5:10)
10. Hallelujah, Amen — G. F. Handel (2:49)
11. Have You Seen the Baby Jesus?* — Powell (2:46)
12. The Flight into Egypt — Hector Berlioz (5:46)
13. Jesus Child — John Rutter (3:30)
14. Holy Night* — Powell (2:38)
15. Ogo ni fun Oluwa*— Powell (2:47)
16. Mary’s Lullaby — Rutter (3:13)
17. Hallelujah Chorus — Handel (4:05)

*World Premiere Recording


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Behold this Heavenly Night
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and Chorus
Sigrid Johnson, associate conductor
Philip Brunelle, conductor

In 1998, VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum joined forces to offer an annual contest encouraging the composition of new carols. Over the years hundreds of worthy carols have been submitted.

“Behold This Heavenly Night” presents the world premiere of some of these contest-winning carols alongside outstanding arrangements of more familiar melodies. Also included is the U.S. premiere of John Rutter’s new “Carol of the Magi” and a unique arrangement of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” translated into Latin by Philip Brunelle and his son Christopher.

  1. Ding Dong! Merrily on High — arr by Malcolm Williamson
  2. What Child — Paul W Lohman
  3. The Piping Carol * — James Sclater
  4. Un Nacimento (A Nativity Scene) * — Diego Luzuriaga
  5. A Mother’s Carol * — Scott Ethier
  6. I Wonder as I Wander — John Jacob Niles, arr Martin Neary
  7. Sweet Was the Song * — Matthew Brown
  8. Night of Silence — Daniel Kantor, arr John Ferguson
  9. See Amid the Winter Snow * — Robert Sieving
  10. In the Bleak Midwinter * — Alan J Higbee
  11. The Shepherd and the King * — Brian Holmes
  12. Carol of the Magi — John Rutter
  13. Calm on the Listening Ear * — John Christian Rommereim
  14. The Darkest Midnight in December * — Stephen Main
  15. Jingle Bells — James Lord Pierpont, arr J David Moore
  16. Welcome the King * — Michael Glasgow
  17. The Virgin’s Cradle Hymn * — Richard E Voorhaar
  18. Behold the Dark and Bitter Night * — Thomas Fielding
  19. It Fell Upon the High Midnight * — Paul Gibson
  20. Rudolphus Rubrinasus * — Johnny Marks, arr Philip Brunelle
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Evensong for the Feast of the Epiphany

Christmas might be behind us, but that doesn't mean the holidays are over! Make sure and check out Evensong for Epiphany from Grace Cathedral and add it to your holiday collection.

Evensong for the Feast of the Epiphany
Choir of Grace Cathedral,
San Francisco, California
Christopher Putnam, associate organist
John Fenstermaker, organist & choirmaster


Given the emphasis our culture places on Christmas, it is easy to forget Epiphany on January 6. It is, however, a feast with its own music and character. The superb choir of men and boys perform a complete liturgy of choral Evensong for Epiphany, with prayers, readings, and music.



Chorale prelude: Wie schon leuchtet der Morgnestern—Johann Pachelbel
Bells
Organ improvisation—Putnam
Introit: Christe, qui lux es et dies—Robert White
Opening sentence
Preces—Jeffrey H. Rickard
Phos hilaron—Larry King
Psalm 27—chant: Longhurst
First Reading
Magnificat in D—Leo Sowerby
Second Reading
Nunc dimittis in D—Sowerby
The Apostles' Creed
Salutation and The Lord's Prayer
The Sufrages—Jeffrey H. Rickard
The Collects
Excerpts from "Christus"—Felix Mendelssohn
Recitative: When Jesus, our Lord
Trio: Say, where is he born
Chorus: There shall a star
I was glad—Sowerby
Hymn: Christ upon the mountain peak
The Wedding at Cana — Petr Eben (organ)


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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Gothic Catalog!

Merry Christmas from the Gothic Catalog! You can still get great Gothic Catalog recordings for your holiday celebrations!ClassicsOnline is privileged to offer Christmas music from the Gothic family of labels.  Gothic specializes in Choral and Organ works, and has grown to include the catalogs of Loft Recordings, Clarion, Quilisma and the Washington National Chorus.  Within these large catalogs are plenty of selections suitable for the Holidays.  For a limited time, please take 20% off these holiday recordings from the Gothic catalog.



Click here to visit the Gothic Christmas Catalog on ClassicsOnline.com!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Philip Brunelle on Weekend Edition!

Philip Brunelle, the VocalEssence director was interviewed by Liane Hansen on
NPR’s Weekend Edition!

Brunelle will be discussing Christmas carols with Liane Hansen,prompted by VocalEsssence’s new release on Clarion, Behold This Heavenly Light. 

“Behold This Heavenly Night” presents the world premiere of new, contest-winning carols alongside outstanding arrangements of more familiar melodies. Also included is the U.S. premiere of John Rutter’s new “Carol of the Magi” and a unique arrangement of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” translated into Latin by Philip Brunelle and his son Christopher.

Please Click to read the full story and listen to the interview on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas at America's First Cathedral Review!

The Baltimore Sun's music blog "Clef Notes & Drama Queens" recently reviewed the Baltimore Choral Arts Society's new Gothic Records release "Christmas at America's First Cathedral".

From "Tim Smith's Clef Notes & Drama Queens":
"...'Christmas at America's First Cathedral' by our very own Baltimore Choral Arts Society (Gothic Records). This is a souvenir of the 2009 concert at the Baltimore Basilica and comes complete with a DVD of the event. The recording, which captures the warm, reverberant acoustics of that historic space beautifully, offers a program that is generous in providing fresh material.

The imaginative and instantly appealing new works by Rosephayne Powell and James Lee III provide welcome additions to Christmas repertoire. And it's refreshing to have some less obvious, season-appropriate selections by Handel (his other great "Hallelujah" Chorus, from "Judas Maccabeus") and Mendelssohn ("Rise Up" from "St. Paul" makes a cool curtain-raiser).
The chorus and orchestra, led by Tom Hall, sound admirably vibrant. So does soprano soloist Janice Chandler-Eteme."

Read the full article here.


Purchase from the Gothic Catalog!

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USPS:

Dec. 16 Express Mail International to Asia/Pacific Rim, Australia, New Zealand and Europe
Dec. 19 Express Mail International to Canada
Dec. 19 Global Express Guaranteed to Asia/Pacific Rim, Australia, New Zealand and Europe
Dec. 19 Global Express Guaranteed to Canada
Dec. 20 Priority Mail to USA

United Parcel Service (UPS) will deliver on December 24, 2010:
Dec. 12 UPS Ground (3-10 days, depending on distance)
Dec. 20 UPS 3-day Select
Dec. 21 UPS 2-day
Dec. 22 UPS Next Day


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have a VocalEssence Christmas!

It's Christmas time, and that means that VocalEssence is making headlines galore! Recently, they teamed up with the American Composers Forum and held a "Christmas carol contest", something they've been doing for the past 12 years! Each year, two winners are chosen and VocalEssence performs their carols!

Check out John Birge of Minnesota Public Radio talking about it last week:



Listen to the winning carols:
"Come Join Their Song" by Mark Shepperd



"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by J. David Moore



You might recognize J. David Moore's name. He is also an arranger for "Jingle Bells" which appears on VocalEssence's new Clarion Records recording "Behold This Heavenly Night"!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas at America's First Cathedral

Christmas at America's First Cathedral
Baltimore Choral Arts Chorus & Orchestra
Janice Chandler Eteme, soprano
Tom Hall, conductor


Free bonus DVD included!

In addition to familiar seasonal music by Mendelssohn, Handel, Rutter, and others, Christmas at America’s First Cathedral features music from South Africa, Canada, and the United States, including the premiere recordings of seven new works by two of America’s most important African American composers, Dr. Rosephanye Powell and Dr. James Lee III. Dr. Lee’s motet, "A Clean Heart" is from a collection of four motets composed in 2009. The six selections by Dr. Powell comprise a suite called, Christmas Give, commissioned by Baltimore Choral Arts and given its world premiere December 1, 2009 at the Baltimore Basilica.

The bonus DVD includes selections from that concert, including Dr. Powell reading two poems and interviews with Tom Hall about the program and its historic venue.

Recorded in the resonant acoustics of America's first Cathedral, the Baltimore Basilica.

  1. Rise Up! Arise! — Felix Mendelssohn (3:33)
  2. Gabriel’s Message — Eleanor Daley (1:51)
  3. Come Colours Rise — Grant McLachlan (4:46)
  4. I Saw Three Ships — arr. Robert Shaw & Alice Parker (1:45)
  5. Christmas Memories* — Rosephanye Powell (3:49)
  6. Precious Gift His Wondrous Birth — Dave Brubeck (1:56)
  7. Ring the Bells* — Powell (2:40)
  8. A Clean Heart* — James Lee III (5:06)
  9. Christus Natus Est*— Powell (5:10)
  10. Hallelujah, Amen — G. F. Handel (2:49)
  11. Have You Seen the Baby Jesus?* — Powell (2:46)
  12. The Flight into Egypt — Hector Berlioz (5:46)
  13. Jesus Child — John Rutter (3:30)
  14. Holy Night* — Powell (2:38)
  15. Ogo ni fun Oluwa*— Powell (2:47)
  16. Mary’s Lullaby — Rutter (3:13)
  17. Hallelujah Chorus — Handel (4:05)
*World Premiere Recording


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Want this album before Christmas?

Either download on http://classicsonline.com or check out our shipping schedule:

USPS:
Dec. 13 Standard shipping to USA (First-Class Mail)
Dec. 16 Express Mail International to Asia/Pacific Rim, Australia, New Zealand and Europe
Dec. 19 Express Mail International to Canada
Dec. 19 Global Express Guaranteed to Asia/Pacific Rim, Australia, New Zealand and Europe
Dec. 19 Global Express Guaranteed to Canada
Dec. 20 Priority Mail to USA

United Parcel Service (UPS) will deliver on December 24, 2010:
Dec. 12 UPS Ground (3-10 days, depending on distance)
Dec. 20 UPS 3-day Select
Dec. 21 UPS 2-day
Dec. 22 UPS Next Day

Monday, December 13, 2010

Behold This Heavenly Night

Last week we offered our newest Christmas release "Behold This Heavenly Night" as a prize for our Christmas Contest, so today we thought we would tell you a little more about the album!


Behold this Heavenly Night
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and Chorus
Sigrid Johnson, associate conductor
Philip Brunelle, conductor


In 1998, VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum joined forces to offer an annual contest encouraging the composition of new carols. Over the years hundreds of worthy carols have been submitted. “Behold This Heavenly Night” presents the world premiere of some of these contest-winning carols alongside outstanding arrangements of more familiar melodies. Also included is the U.S. premiere of John Rutter’s new “Carol of the Magi” and a unique arrangement of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” translated into Latin by Philip Brunelle and his son Christopher.

  1. Ding Dong! Merrily on High — arr by Malcolm Williamson
  2. What Child — Paul W Lohman
  3. The Piping Carol * — James Sclater
  4. Un Nacimento (A Nativity Scene) * — Diego Luzuriaga
  5. A Mother’s Carol * — Scott Ethier
  6. I Wonder as I Wander — John Jacob Niles, arr Martin Neary
  7. Sweet Was the Song * — Matthew Brown
  8. Night of Silence — Daniel Kantor, arr John Ferguson
  9. See Amid the Winter Snow * — Robert Sieving
  10. In the Bleak Midwinter * — Alan J Higbee
  11. The Shepherd and the King * — Brian Holmes
  12. Carol of the Magi — John Rutter
  13. Calm on the Listening Ear * — John Christian Rommereim
  14. The Darkest Midnight in December * — Stephen Main
  15. Jingle Bells — James Lord Pierpont, arr J David Moore
  16. Welcome the King * — Michael Glasgow
  17. The Virgin’s Cradle Hymn * — Richard E Voorhaar
  18. Behold the Dark and Bitter Night * — Thomas Fielding
  19. It Fell Upon the High Midnight * — Paul Gibson
  20. Rudolphus Rubrinasus * — Johnny Marks, arr Philip Brunelle
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Friday, December 10, 2010

The Organ Loft - Christmas Mix








The Organ Loft - December 12, 2010
Christmas Mix
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule




Program: Christmas Mix
  1. arr. Andrew Carter: “Hodie Christus Natus est”1
  2. Arcangelo Corelli, arr. Richard Eteson: Concerto Grosso, Op.6 No.8 (“Christmas Concerto”) (excerpt)2
  3. Harold Darke, arr. Tom Bullard: “In the bleak midwinter”2
  4. J.S. Bach, arr. Snedecor: Chorale No. 64 from the “Christmas Oratorio”3
  5. French melody arr. Andrew Carter: “A maiden most gentle”1
  6. Carter: Toccata on Veni Emmanuel1
  7. Anon, arr. Carter: Angelus ad Virginem1
  8. Anon, arr. Carter: “I wonder as I wander”1
  9. Anon, arr. Carter: Spanish lullaby1
  10. John Tavener:”Mother and Child”4
  11. Franz Grüber, arr Carter: Stille Nacht1


Recordings Used: Click Links to purchase these recordings
  1. “Andrew Carter’s Christmas Carols” Quire of London, John Scott, organ, Andrew Carter, director, YORK CD 169
  2. “The Swingle Singers…unwrapped” Signum SIGCD107
  3. “A Brass & Organ Christmas in Grace Cathedral” Gothic G-49120
  4. “Mother and Child” Tenebrae, Nigel Short, director, Signum SIGCD501


Find the Broadcasts online from:

KING-FM Seattle's Classical Choice — Sundays at 10:00 PM

And

OREGON: KWAX-FM and the University of Oregon radio network — Sundays at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Contest!

We have lots to celebrate! This is our 200th post on the blog, it's the Christmas season, and we have some fantastic new Christmas releases! So, how do we celebrate? Glad you asked! We're doing a Christmas album contest!

We have three "riddles" involving the titles of three of our Christmas albums. The first 5 people with the correct album titles and artists will win our newest Christmas album - "Behold This Heavenly Night" featuring the VocalEssence choral ensemble!

The Riddles:

"Play this album during your Christmas celebrations, and you'll have a Grand old time!"

"This Christmas album has programming that can't be called "fluff", but you could call it flowery!"

"We love Christmas sweets; they bring us pure jubilation!"

Okay, now all you have to do is answer these questions, and you'll win "Behold this Heavenly Night" featuring the VocalEssence ensemble.

To make it easy for you we have a direct link to all of our Christmas albums. So click here, and start figuring out our riddles!

Give us your answers in the comments section of this blog, or on our Facebook Page, or via Twitter.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Organ Loft - Christmas in the Grand Tradition - Widor's Sinfonia Sacra






The Organ Loft - December 5, 2010
Christmas in the Grand Tradition - Widor's Sinfonia Sacra
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule




Program: Thanksgiving/Advent Mix
  1. Traditional, arr. Keith Chapman: Bring a Torch, Jennette Isabella1
  2. Carmen Dragon, arr. Peter Conte: O Tannenbaum1
  3. Adolphe-Charles Adam, arr. Canadian Brass : O Holy Night1
  4. Geoffry Bush, arr. Conte : I saw three ships1
  5. R. Vaughan Williams : Greensleeves1
  6. G. F. Handel , arr. Conte : For unto us a Child is born1
  7. Charles-Marie Widor: Sinfonia Sacra, Op. 812


Recordings Used: Click Links to purchase these recordings
  1. “Christmas in the Grand Tradition ”, Peter Richard Conte, organ and Philadelphia Brass; Gothic G-49264
  2. “Charles-Marie Widor: Symphonie Nr. 3/Sinfonia Sacra” Paul Wißkirchen, organ, Gürzenichorchester Köhn, Philharmonia Hungarica, Volker Hemfling, director, Motette CD 40071


Find the Broadcasts online from:

KING-FM Seattle's Classical Choice — Sundays at 10:00 PM

And

OREGON: KWAX-FM and the University of Oregon radio network — Sundays at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Noel - A Musical Feast

Start your December with a Musical Feast!

Noel: A Musical Feast - with KING FM
Various Loft and Gothic Artists - A Sampler!


Loft Recordings and Gothic Records, in collaboration with Classical KING-FM, present this compilation of Christmas music, featuring our labels' bestselling artists, including the Dale Warland Singers, the Choral Scholars of King's College, the Compline Choir, Choral Arts, Opus 7, the Tudor Choir, the Westminster College Choir, the Washington Chorus, and Joan Lippincott.

Handel: Hallelujah from Messiah
Bach: Sinfonia in D Major from Cantata 120
Traditional English, arr. Keith Roberts: The Twelve Days of Christmas
Traditional French, arr. Terry Price: A Carol for All Seasons
Leontovich (Russian), arr. Wilhousky: Carol of the Bells
Traditional French, arr. Schultz: Il est né, le divin enfant
Gade: Af Hoiheden oprunden (How brightly shines the Morningstar)
Ødegaard: Den yndigste rose
Praetorius, arr. by Sandström: Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose e?er blooming)
Basque, arr. Paulus: Gabriel's Message
Anon. Medieval, arr. Shafer: Personent Hodie
Pinkham: Christmas Cantata
Zipoli: Pastorale
Willan: What is this lovely fragrance?
Balbastre: Aujo deu de pubelle
Holst: In the bleak mid-winter
Bardos: Dormi, fili care
Tavener: The Lamb
Gruber, arr. Herbolsheimer: Stille Nacht




Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent Music!

If you missed Sunday's Organ Loft broadcast, you missed us kicking off the official beginning of the Advent Season! So today we want to highlight the albums featured on the show to kick off the Christmas celebrations!

Advent Procession Based on The Great "O" Antiphons
Choirs of St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, Washington
J. Melvin Butler, organist/choirmaster
Peter Hallock, choirmaster (Compline Choir)
Roger Sherman, organist


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Praise the Spirit: Sacred Music of David Ashley White
Alan Austin, violin
Martha Chapman, violin (track 3 only)
Brady Knapp, baritone
Garrett Martin, trumpet
Patty Moeling, flute
Sarah Oldrin, soprano (track 22 only)
Johanna Peske, oboe
Celeste Proffitt, percussion
Laurie Robertson, soprano
Mitzi Storey, recorder
Brian Vogel, percussion
David Ashley White, keyboard (track 1 only)
Laura Witt, harp
The Choir of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Houston, TX
Brady Knapp & Courtney Daniell-Knapp, directors


David Ashley White is one of the most popular composers in the Episcopal Church today. From anthems to hymns, this recording offers a variety of music and texts. The Choir of Palmer Church has long been associated with White's music, and gives the program a polished performance in a reverberant setting. Recorded by the legendary John Proffitt.

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Christmas in the Grand Tradition
The Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s Center City
The Philadelphia Brass Ensemble
Peter Richard Conte, Grand Court Organist


Christmas carols on a grand scale! Under the dazzling fingers of organist Peter Richard Conte, the world's largest musical instrument teams up with the Philadelphia Brass in this program of Christmas favorites. A sonic spectacular!

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The Leipzig Chorales of J.S. Bach
Flentrop Organ of Duke Chapel
Joan Lippincott, organist


When Bach died in 1750, he left behind an incomplete manuscript that was perhaps being prepared for future publication. The intent of the collection, or the organizational scheme are difficult to discern, but Bach may have been planning something on the same scale as Clavierübung III (the "German Organ Mass"). Whatever the intent, these enlargements and revisions of earlier chorale preludes contain some of Bach's most sublime musical moments.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - Harvest Home

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we wanted to help you celebrate by featuring our quintessential Thanksgiving album, Harvest Home, and giving you samples of all the tracks on the album!

Harvest Home: Songs From the Heart
The Dale Warland Singers
Dale Warland, conductor

Exquisitely sung and beautifully recorded, this CD offers some of the most heartfelt singing we’ve ever heard. Perfect intonation, sumptuous sound, and familiar tunes---this is Dale Warland at his best. Includes “Deep River,” Simple Gifts, “The Water is Wide,” Beautiful River (“Shall we gather at the river”) “We gather together,” and many more.

Click the play button to listen:

Beautiful River (Shall We Gather at the River), Rev. Robert Lowry arr. William Hawley
Simple Gifts, Elder Joseph Brackett, arr. Dale Warland
She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain, arr. Emma Lou Diemer
Peace, arr. Kevin Siegfried
McKay, Carol Barnett
A la claire fontaine, arr. Norman Luboff
Deep River, arr. Norman Luboff
We Gather Together, arr. Stephen Paulus
Not One Sparrow is Forgotten, arr. William Hawley
Cindy, arr. Carol Barnett
Gentle Annie, Stephen Foster, arr. Edwin Fissinger
We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace, arr. W. Applings
The Water is Wide, arr. Jeffrey Van
By and By, arr. Carol Barnett
The Old Church, Stephen Paulus
Lay Me Low, arr. Kevin Siegfried
The Road Home, arr. Stephen Paulus

Purchase this album and give your Thanksgiving day the perfect soundtrack! Purchase the CD from The Gothic Catalog, or download it today from ClassicsOnline.com!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Complete Your Garrison Keillor Thanksgiving!

On Monday we reminded you of our album "Over the River and Through the Woods" and today we want to remind you of its companion album "Hymn to Potatoes"! Also, we want to let you know that you can get them both together and save!

Hymn to Potatoes and other choral masterworks from
A Prairie Home Companion
Garrison Keillor, Philip Brunelle and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers


Who knew a choir could be this funny? Garrison Keillor, Philip Brunelle and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers dish up a generous helping of Potatoes a la Schubert, run away to Europe to indulge their “Shenandoah” habit, and enlighten us on the T.U.L.I.P. doctrine. This two-CD set of the best choral skits and bits from 10 years on A Prairie Home Companion includes the often-requested “Julia” (John Lennon) and a rare choral interpretation of “Karma Chamelon” (Boy George). With Charles Kemper and Richard Dworsky at the piano, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and guest appearances by Tom Keith and Tim Russell.

Click the Play button to listen to samples:
Hymn to Potatoes
Julia
Bohemian Rhapsody

Get your copy of Hymn to Potatoes from The Gothic Catalog or download the album today from ClassicsOnline.com!

Or save and get "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "Hymn to Potatoes" together!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Music - Over the River and Through The Woods

Last year we had the distinct pleasure of releasing the fantastic Thanksgiving album "Over the River and Through the Woods" featuring Garrison Keillor, VocalEssence, and The Hopeful Gospel Quartet. So today we thought we would remind you of this release that makes for a perfect soundtrack to your holiday celebration! Also remember that we now have our music available for instant download on ClassicsOnline.com so it's not too late to get the perfect music for Thanksgiving!

Over The River and Through the Woods:

On a chilly November evening, the Hopeful Gospel Quartet — Garrison Keillor, Mollie O’Brien and Robin & Linda Williams — traded musical moments with the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers in a concert at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. The evening seamlessly blended American folk traditions with choral masterpieces old and new, from “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” to “Now Thank We All Our God.” Garrison Keillor shared his Thanksgiving memories in a hilarious yet poignant monologue. Thanks to Minnesota Public Radio, the evening was captured for posterity in this charming two-CD set.

Garrison Keillor weaves together familiar melodies and his own observations into this charming and unique celebration of Thanksgiving. Keillor is joined by Prudence Johnson, Rich Dworsky, the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers, Charles Kemper and Philip Brunelle in musical renditions of traditional hymns and humorous adaptations of songs for the season. Keillor guides us through the hour with his renowned story telling ability and reminds us of the treasures of Thanksgiving with his remarkable perceptions of American life.

Here are some samples from the album to really get you in the mood for the Holiday. Click the play button to listen to them:


Will the Circle Be Unbroken
An Anthem for Thanksgiving
Thanks Be to God
Thanksgiving Recollections

Purchase the album direct from The Gothic Catalog, or get immediate downloads today from ClassicsOnline.com!



Friday, November 19, 2010

The Organ Loft - Thanksgiving/Advent Mix





The Organ Loft - November 21, 2010
Thanksgiving/Advent Mix
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule




Program: Thanksgiving/Advent Mix
  1. J.S. Bach: Sinfonia to Cantata 29 “We Thank Thee, Lord”1
  2. J.S. Bach: “Now Thank We All our God” from Cantata 791
  3. Danish melody, arr. Stephen Paulus: “We Gather Together”2
  4. Carol Barnett: McKay, from “An American Thanksgiving”2
  5. Shaker Hymn, arr. William Hawley: “Not One Sparrow is Forgotten”2
  6. J.S. Bach: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme3
  7. Mendelssohn: Overture from the oratorio, “Paul”4
  8. Louis Vierne: Solemn Mass5


Recordings Used: Click Links to purchase these recordings
  1. “Music of Jubilee”, E. Power Biggs, organ; Columbia Chamber Symphony, Zoltan Rozsnyai, conductor; CBS Records MK 42646
  2. “Harvest Home”, The Dale Warland Singers, Dale Warland, conductor, Gothic G49243
  3. “J.S. Bach: Clavierűbung III & Schűbler Chorales” Joan Lippincott, organ, Gothic G 49242-2
  4. “Mendelssohn: Paulus” Collegium Vocale, La Chapelle Royale, Orchestre des Champs Elsees, Phillipe Herreweghe, dir; Harmonia Mundi France HMC 901584.85
  5. “Praise Parisienne” National Lutheran Choir, David Cherwein, director, Gothic G-49257


Find the Broadcasts online from:

KING-FM Seattle's Classical Choice — Sundays at 10:00 PM

And

OREGON: KWAX-FM and the University of Oregon radio network — Sundays at 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only a week away, and the perfect soundtrack can make cooking for the meal, and enjoying the meal that much better. And now that we have all of our albums available for download on ClassicsOnline.com you can purchase one of these featured albums and don't have to wait for shipping. So we're going to be featuring albums we believe are the perfect soundtracks to help you celebrate the holidays!

When you start getting ready for Thanksgiving, what comes to your mind? Do you think of the first Thanksgiving and early America? It's something that we definitely think of at this time of the year. Can you just imagine the images of Pilgrims and old wood houses and log cabins? Music can do a lot to take you back into that time and mindframe, it can also enrich the imagery and even evoke the smells of Thanksgiving. We have many great albums for Thanksgiving, but today we wanted to highlight an album that isn't normally thought of as "Thanksgiving" music, but easily calls all of the early American imagery to mind. When we listen to the Shaker songs performed by The Tudor Choir, the sound of those melodies and folksongs immediately whisks us away to those early and "simple" times. A perfect mood-setter for gathering together our families and thinking of all that we are thankful for. So today we highlight the album Gentle Words and give you some history of Shaker Tunes from the arranger himself.

Gentle Words
Shaker songs arranged by Kevin Siegfried
The Tudor Choir, Doug Fullington, director


Click here to download this album on ClassicsOnline.com and listen to samples of all the tracks! Or click the album title to purchase directly from The Gothic Catalog.

"Gentle Words is another treasure by Loft Recordings, and excellent little independent label based in Seattle that specializes in organ music. If you care about American music or the art of sublime choral singing, I implore you to buy this recording." - Fanfare

Shaker music is one of the richest bodies of folksong in American history and Kevin Siegfried's arrangements follow Shaker aesthetics of beauty, simplicity and utility. Sung by The Tudor Choir, this recording incorporates a variety of original choral arrangements, including unison singing and antiphonal performances.

Booklet contains full texts and commentary on each tune, and an introduction to Shaker music.

This is one of our favorite CDs...

Tracks:
I will bow and be simple * In yonder valley * All is summer * O Lord make me pure * Love is little * The burning day * Circular march * Help me, O Lord * Heavenly display * Followers of the Lamb * Come to Zion * We must be meek * Lay me low * Solemn song * Beautiful treasure * Peace * Angels of heaven * Hunger and thirst * Dismission of Great I * Revelation * Prayer for the captive * Gentle words * Beautiful valley * Jubilee * Ezekiel's vision * Almighty Savior * Cords of love * I will go on my way

The Shakers, or United Society of Believers, originated in England around 1747. In 1770, the charismatic Ann Lee became the acknowledged leader of this small, spirited band. Their animated and ecstatic worship practices incorporating dancing and singing gave rise to their common name. Directed by a revelation, nine Shakers, including Mother Ann Lee, departed for America in 1774, to escape persecution and spread their unique message.

"Put your hands to work and your hearts to God," Mother Ann told her followers, and this they did. Shaker communal societies spread throughout the eastern United States and west to Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, with a total estimated population of 6,000 at its peak by the 1840s. Guided by the principles of celibacy and devotion to the gospel, these societies were characterized by pacifism, gender/racial equality, and an astounding industriousness and invention. With one society still remaining today in Maine, the Shakers have outlived all other "utopian" religious communities, leaving an indelible mark on American culture.

The visionary and original Shaker spirit perhaps found its greatest expression in music and dance. As a result, Shaker music represents the largest body of folksong in American history with approximately 10,000 songs in existence. Seeking separation from the world, the early Shakers avoided all harmony and instrumental accompaniment in their music, and created their own musical notation to record their unique, unfettered songs. These melodies reveal an inspired imagination and strong sense of musical line and proportion.

Because Shaker music is undeniably important to American musical history and culture, my goal in arranging these Shaker melodies for choirs is to make them accessible and useful in modern worship and concert settings. Central to all Shaker art and music is the theme of functionality, defined by use. It is my hope that these arrangements will move the Shaker songs from historical text into living musical settings. They seek to combine the Shaker themes of beauty, simplicity, and utility.

As a composer and arranger, my approach to these songs grew out of an intense involvement with the material, rather than a preconceived idea rooted in my particular musical style. I have attempted to maintain the simplicity and directness of the original, unison melodies, with an emphasis on unison singing and antiphonal performance which were at the very heart of Shaker musical practice. The majority of Shaker songs still remain hidden from public view, requiring a massive effort of compilation and transcription. I am most grateful to the scholars and performers whose passion and activity in the realm of Shaker song study and transcription have brought so much to light: E.D. Andrews, Mitzie Collins, Harold Cook, Randy Folger, Roger Hall, and Daniel Patterson.

My first introduction to Shaker music came through reading E.D. Andrews’ famous book The Gift to be Simple. The man who brought Shaker music alive to my ears and imagination was Randy Folger, who performed daily in the meeting house at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky. Randy’s position as Music and Special Programs Manager at Shaker Village gave him the opportunity to establish a deep, intimate relationship with Shaker music. As anyone who heard him knows, he gave himself wholly to the songs, resurrecting the power and spirit of an inspired Shaker singer. It was Randy who first encouraged me in this project of arranging Shaker songs. Sadly, his life was taken in an auto accident in 1999. This recording is dedicated to him, in gratitude for his friendship, encouragement, and inspiration.

To Randy – your voice breathed life and goes on singing.


- Kevin Siegfried