Thursday, April 29, 2010

Organ Greats From The Great Organ - Review and Video

Yesterday we featured our new release "Organ Greats from the Great Organ" featuring Erik Wm. Suter on the Washington National Catheral organ. So today we wanted to share some listener feedback and share a video that uses a track from the album.

Best washington national cathedral Organ CD - April 16, 2010
Reviewer: Nathan Roehl from Janesville, WI United States

This is the best Organ CD that I have of his [Erik Wm. Suter] collection. My favorite is Suter's own Amazing Grace. Erik Plays this beautiful hymn with his own arrangement. He is truly a wonderful Organist and this cd is a must have for your collection.

Master Tallis's Testament by Herbert Howells

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Release: Organ Greats from the Great Organ

Organ Greats from the Great Organ
Washington National Cathedral
Erik Wm. Suter, organist

A broad cross-section of organ repertoire from Erik Wm. Suter at the Great Organ of Washington National Cathedral.

  1. J. S. Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
  2. Dale Wood - In Thee is Gladness
  3. Cesar Franck - Piece Heroique
  4. Louis Vierne - Final, from Symphonie I
  5. Paul Manz - Aria
  6. William Bolcom - What a Friend we have in Jesus!
  7. Edward Elgar - Imperial March
  8. G. F. Handel - Hornpipe, from Watermusic
  9. J. S. Bach - Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme, BWV 645
  10. Herbert Howells - Master Tallis’s Testament
  11. Charles-Marie Widor - Toccata, from Symphonie V
  12. J. P. Sousa - The Stars and Stripes Forever
  13. E. W. Suter - Improvisations on Amazing Grace

Buy it Today!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Release: Sound From Heaven - A Liturgy for Pentecost

Sound from Heaven
A Liturgy for Penteccost

Anna Maria Friman, soprano
The Girl Choristers of Washington National Cathedral, James Litton, director
Quintus Quodlibet, Geoffrey Williams, director
Erik Wm. Suter, organist
Edward M. Nassor, carillonneur

This recording brings together a splendid tapestry of music from the Franco-Belgian tradition, including traditional Gregorian chant, monody from the Notre Dame Conductus which flourished in Paris circa 1200, and the medieval Messe de Tournai. Despite its many connections to earlier tradition, the sequence on this recording is distinctly contemporary, and is indeed an expression of the breadth of liturgy in the Anglican Communion.

Buy it now!

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Release: America the Beautiful from the Washington National Cathedral

America the Beautiful
The Choirs of Washington National Cathedral
Washington Symphonic Brass

Michael McCarthy, conductor

Recorded at Washington National Cathedral on October 7-8 and November 11-12, 2004, this CD weaves a tapestry of the American musical experience, broadly articulating the triumphs and travails, the emerging growth and diversity of the Nation, and defines a healthy sense of what is good about patriotism.

America - arr. David Willcocks
America the Beautiful - Samuel A. Ward, arr. Michael McCarthy
Washington Post March - John Philip Sousa, arr. Joseph M. Linger
Steal Away - arr. Michael Tippett
My Shepherd will supply my need - Joseph Funk, arr. Virgil Thompsen
There is a balm in Gilead - William L. Dawson
Deep river - arr. Michael Tippett
Fanfare for the Common Man - Aaron Copland
O Love of God - C. Hubert H. Parry, arr. Michael McCarthy
Lord of the Dance - Sydney Carter, arr. Michael McCarthy
Aria - Paul Manz
Abide with me - William H. Monk, arr. Moses Hogan
Father, in thy gracious keeping - Richard Wayne Dirksen
Battle Hymn of the Republic - William Steffe, arr. Peter J. Wilhousky
The Star-spangled Banner - John Stafford Smith
The Stars and Stripes Forever - John Philip Sousa, arr. George Faxon

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Friday, April 23, 2010

The Organ Loft - Music For Fun!

The Organ Loft - April 25, 2010
Music For Fun!
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule

Program: Music For Fun!
  1. Padre David da Bergamo: Sinfonia
  2. John Philip Sousa: The Stars and Stripes Forever
  3. Robert Schumann: Sketch no. 4 in D-flat
  4. Robert Schumann: Etude no. 4 in A-flat
  5. William Albright: Sweet Sixteenths, a Rag for Organ
  6. Padre David da Bergamo: Sinfonia, col tanto applaudito inno Popolare All’ Offertorio
  7. Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee
  8. BBC changes
  9. Carol Barnett: McKay
  10. Danish melody, arr. Stephen Paulus: “We Gather Together
  11. Shaker Hymn, arr. William Hawley: “Not One Sparrow is Forgotten
  12. Melody from “Southern Harmony”, arr. Stephen Paulus: The Road Home

Recordings Used:
  1. “L’Orgue de Tende: Musique théâtrales et militaires”, Rene Saorgin, organ Harmonia Mundi France HMA 190947
  2. “Marches” Douglas Major, organ Gothic G-18828
  3. “Carole Terry plays the Watjen Concert Organ” Carole Terry, organ, Loft LRCD-1105
  4. “Padre David” Andrea Marcon, organ, L’Empreinte Sonore ES 9309
  5. “Fanfare” Lew Williams, organist, ERB Enterprises ERB 113 (available from Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, AZ)
  6. Unidentified LP recording from the KING library…out of print long ago. The text being sung is an announcement of changes to BBC radio programming, and I believe that the vocal group was called the Meistersingers, but I cannot be sure…
  7. “Harvest Home: Songs from the Heart” Dale Warland Singers, Gothic G-49243

Listen Online:

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

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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kimberly Marshall - Bach Influences and Fantasy Through Time

As we continue to celebrate our diverse and outstanding artist, Kimberly Marshall, we wanted to make you aware of some of the incredible deals that we are having right now!

Bach Influences - 2-disc Special

Get both of Kimberly Marshall's heralded Bach "Influences" albums, "Bach and the Italian Influence" and "Bach and the French Influence" together for even more savings than you'd get separately!

List Price: $37.96
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Bach and the Italian Inflence
Fisk-Nanney Organ
Stanford Memorial Church
Kimberly Marshall, organist

"Bach and the Italian Influence" explores the Italian influences on Bach, and is presented by organ scholar and international performing artist, Kimberly Marshall.

The Stanford Fisk is unique in that it incorporates two different tuning temperaments (well-tempered and meantone), both of which are heard on this recording.

Toccata and Fugue in F-Major, BWV 540/ J.S. Bach
Concerto in d-minor, BWV 596 (based on the Concerto in d-minor, Opus 3, no. 11 by Vivaldi)/ J.S. Bach
Toccata avanti la Messa della Madonna/ Frescobaldi
Canzona dopo l'Epistola/ Frescobaldi
Recercar dopo il Credo/ Frescobaldi
Bergamasca/ Frescobaldi
Canzona in d-minor, BWV 588/ J.S. Bach
Fugue in b-minor on a theme of Corelli, BWV 592/ J.S. Bach
Concerto in G-Major, BWV 592
(based on the Concerto in G-Major by Prince Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar)/ J.S. Bach
Toccata and Fugue in d-minor ("Dorian"), BWV 538/ J.S. Bach

Bach and the French Influence
Fisk-Nanney Organ
Stanford Memorial Church
Kimberly Marshall, organist

Noted organist and scholar, Kimberly Marshall, explores the relationship between French classical composers and Johann Sebastian Bach. The Stanford Fisk incorporates two different tuning temperaments (well-tempered and meantone), both of which are heard on this recording.

Prelude in E-flat major, BWV 552/J.S. Bach
Fantasy in c minor, BWV 562/ J. S. Bach
Fugue à 5/ Nicolas de Grigny
Trio in F Major, BWV 587/ J.S. Bach
Excerpts from Messe des Paroisses/ François Couperin
Fantasy and Fugue in c minor, BWV 537/ J. S. Bach
Excerpts from Livre Premier/ Louis Marchand
Pièce d'orgue, BWV 572/ J. S. Bach

CD + DVD Combo!
A Fantasy Through Time: Five Centuries of Organ Fantasies
Richards-Fowkes organ, Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, Arizona
Kimberly Marshall, organist

Free bonus DVD! This compact disc includes a DVD of Kimberly Marshall playing the tracks from the CD on the Richards-Fowkes organ; also included are interviews with Dr. Marshall about the music, the organ, and the composers.

The new Richards-Fowkes organ in Scottsdale provides a wide variety of tonal resources for this historical exploration of Fantasies for organ on this, its premiere recording. Kimberly Marshall is internationally known as an organist and scholar. She currently is Director of Arizona State University School of Music.

Fantasy in G Major (“Pièce d’Orgue”), BWV 572—Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Fancy—Alfonso Ferrabosco (1543-1588)
Fantasia chromatica—Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)
A Fansye (from the Mulliner Book)—Newman (fl. c.1583)
Fantasy in C Minor, BWV 562—J. S. Bach
Fantasy in D Minor, K. 397—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Fantaisie in C Major (Version III)—César Franck (1822-1890)
Première Fantaisie—Jehan Alain (1911-1940)
Deuxième Fantaisie—J. Alain
Fantasy in G Minor, BWV 542/I—J. S. Bach

List Price: $18.98
Our Price: $12.98
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A sample of what you'll get on the DVD!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Celebrating Kimberly Marshall

Since this is Kimberly Marshall week, we wanted to feature the video version of The Organ Loft promo we posted last Friday. The two recordings featured in this video are “Sienese Splendor” and “Bach Encounters Buxtehude.”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kimberly Marshall - How Excellent is Thy Name & Divine Euterpe

We're celebrating our artist Kimberly Marshall this week, so we wanted to prove to you how amazing these specials are by highlighting the albums that Kimberly Marshall has recorded with Loft Recordings that are ON SALE NOW!

How Excellent is Thy Name
Musical Devotions of the Emancipated Jew

Murray Harris organ, Stanford Memorial Church
Kimberly Marshall, organ
Hazzan Erik L.F. Contzius, cantor

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"This recording honors the Jewish liturgical tradition of cantor with organ-- and a rising star of American cantors. The historic 1901 Murray Harris organ at Stanford University is the perfect instrument for this music, which is concentrated in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries."

V'sham'ru/ Biblical Cantilation
V'sham'ru/ Louis Lewandowski
Hashkiveinu/ Eduard Brinbaum
Adonai Malakh/ Hugo Chaim Adler
Lekha Dodi/ Lazar Weiner
Psalm 8/ Isadore Freed
May the Words/ Lazar Weiner
Kiddush/ Joseph Myerov
Sh'ma Koleinu/ Max Helfman
Avinu Malkeinu/ Max Janowski
Modim/ Jocob Rappaport
Cause Us, O Lord Our God/ Martin Kalmanoff
We Gratefully Acknowledge/ Abraham Levitt
Ahavat Olam/ Morris Barash
Dienen/ Ofer Ben-Amots
Hashkivenu/ Herman Berlinski
Psalm 23/ Bonia Shur
Yism'khu/ Hassidic, arr. Bonia Shur
Shalom Rav/ Erik L. F. Contzius, arr. B. Shur Uv'yom
Hashabbat/ Ofer Ben-Amots
Psalm 133/ Salomon Sulzer


At no other time in Jewish history has there been such a surge of musical creativity in synagogue music as after the European emancipation in the 1700s. Modern Jewish composers with traditional sensibilities and contemporary training enriched worship greatly. These composers respected the norms of Jewish musical structure, originating from the earliest of ancient Biblical chants (V’sham’ru, track 1), and also preserved the modalities (nusakh) of that music. Yet, emancipation exposed these composers to the greater musical culture, influencing their compositional styles.

Until the nineteenth century, the prevalent modality of Jewish worship through musical expression was through the cantor or hazzan—the prayer leader who would improvise elaborate musical lines within the context of the musical guidelines passed aurally from generation to generation. His voice (and it was only a male until this century) was unaccompanied by instrument or choir. Hence it was through florid melismatic singing that he could establish a sense of key. When the liberated Jewish composers of the nineteenth century were charged by their congregations to make the service more accessible to the Western ears of their congregants, they closely examined the role of the cantor and the expression and function of his music.

When reform was taking hold in the synagogues of Europe, Jewish congregations embraced the dominant culture’s mode of prayer—that of the Protestant Church: instruments and choirs were introduced. Hymns, a musical form foreign to the synagogue, were sung by the congregation, and the vernacular language was used in place of the traditional Hebrew. In light of this, composers like Louis Lewandowski and Eduard Birnbaum (tracks 3 & 4) tried to preserve the flavor and language of the improvised cantorial stylings of yesteryear, while injecting a Western sense of harmony and melodic structure. No other composer had as much success at this within the synagogue as Cantor Salomon Sulzer (track 21).

A sense of how the improvised style was portrayed can be heard in the works of Jacob Rappaport and Morris Barash (tracks 11 and 14). Their organ accompaniments echo the first use of the choir in the synagogue—the chor shul (lit. “choir synagogue”). Male choirs would accompany the cantor, reinforcing the harmony established by his melismatic chanting. These two offerings of cantorial art music are presented here to illustrate the difference between the old and new stylings of Jewish composition for the synagogue.

Innovation and radical change really took hold both in the synagogue and in synagogue music when liberal Jewry began to flourish in the United States of America. Trying to establish an American Jewish musical culture separate and distinct from Europe was the goal of many of America’s finest musical liturgists. This yielded a body of music used widely, even today, in a period described as Classical Reform.

Cantor Hugo Chaim Adler (track 4) was a cantor with the ability to preserve traditional nusakh and flavor of traditional worship while giving great form to the melody and harmonization of his compositions. His Adonai Malakh stands out as a piece which, without the accompaniment, could easily be used in traditional worship today.

Lazar Weiner (Lekha Dodi, track 5 and May the Words, track 7) was, according to Jewish composer Herbert Fromm, “the undisputed master of the secular Yiddish art song.” He truly paints the meaning of the text, complementing the flowing melodic line with a delicate accompaniment. This can be heard in his Lekha Dodi, as it welcomes in the Sabbath not with a shout, but with a loving voice. Weiner’s meditative music preceding the text of his May the Words also makes great use of the subtleties of the organ.

A signature piece of Isadore Freed (track 6), his Psalm 8 takes advantage of the pipe organ as accompanying instrument. This piece does not show Freed’s adherence to the traditional modes of Jewish music, since this English text is not married to a specific liturgical use. Freed was a great advocate not only of the proper use of nusakh, but also wrote a book entitled Harmonizing the Jewish Modes, which describes the details of writing accompaniments for the differing modal characteristics in the Ashkenazi (European) Jewish tradition.

Joseph Myerov (track 8), an organist and music director, brings a quiet beauty to the Kiddush, the blessing over the Sabbath wine. The composer reflects the text with a melodic line that “flows like wine.” This melodic flow, with its polytonal accompaniment, captures the majesty of chanting the blessing over wine and rejoicing in the Sabbath.

There are two composers from the twentieth century who lent their musical characteristics to the hallmark of classical Reform musical literature: Max Helfman (Sh’ma Koleinu, track 9) and Max Janowski (Avinu Malkeinu, track 10). Both of their seminal works are presented here: Helfman’s Sh’ma Koleinu is a stirring setting, pleading that God should hear our voice. He recaptures the melismatic and dramatic character of traditional cantorial art music, while providing an accompaniment that supports and enhances the meaning of the text. Max Janowski’s Avinu Malkeinu bears a melody which has its root in traditional origins. Its drama and grandeur have made it an enduring feature of the Jewish High Holy Days.

The character of music composed for the modern synagogue has undergone gradual but distinct changes. Some composers have chosen to embrace the musical styles of their surroundings, while others have reached back to more traditional arrangements.

Both Martin Kalmanoff (track 12) and Cantor Abraham Levitt (track 13) exhibit distinct musical influences from the worlds of jazz and popular music. Their harmonies are familiar to the modern Jew. They have also embraced the vernacular in the texts of their compositions.

Possibly the most radical fusion of music of the modern era and cantorial stylings can be seen in the music of Herman Berlinski (track 16). A music director and organist, he has elevated an already stirring text to a level of fine art, fusing the prayer space between both singer and organ into a seamless whole. The setting cannot exist without either voice or organ, and the dialogue between the two shines when just one of the pair is featured.

Israeli born Ofer Ben-Amots (tracks 15 and 20) takes a more romantic approach in his settings. His music feels more ancient even than the cantorial art music he imitates. The settings of his works presented here were originally scored for chamber orchestra and voice, but Ms. Marshall’s accompaniment illustrates the ease with which the textures of this music can be adapted to the organ.

Born in Riga, Latvia, Bonia Shur (track 17 and 18) has brought many modern characteristics to Jewish music. Rejecting the notion of preserving the traditional musical modalities, Shur has brought different elements into Jewish worship with his Israeli folk stylings and modal melodic lines (for example, the use of a lowered sub-tonic in place of leading tone can be heard in many of his compositions). Shur has been on the faculty of the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion for many years as Director of Liturgical Arts, teaching Reform Rabbis about all aspects of Jewish music.

I have included in this collection a collaboration between myself and Bonia Shur: Shalom Rav (track 19). I wrote the melody two days after Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, having been asked to participate in a memorial service in his memory. I felt that the setting of this song of peace needed to be hopeful, like Rabin’s vision of peace in Israel, but subdued and perhaps even desparate. Bonia Shur’s accompaniment and harmonic suggestions completed my composition.

In this day of Israel’s political situation and climate, I think of Shalom Rav now more of a prayer which seeks to further Rabin’s dream of a united Jerusalem, and a day when all peoples may one day live in Israel in wholeness and peace.

- Hazzan Erik L. F. Contzius

The organ is a relative newcomer to Jewish liturgical music, and its participation is generally limited to accompanying services in the Reform tradition.

Despite the intricate and opulent use of instrumental music in the liturgies of the First and Second Temple (as documented in Chronicles I and II and the Talmud), following the Second Temple’s destruction in 70 C.E. no attempt was made to reinstate this musical practice. On the contrary, instrumental music was banned from the Jewish liturgy to symbolize mourning over the Temple. This is reflected in passages from the Talmud: “from the day the Temple was destroyed, there has been no day without a curse” and “when the rabbinical court [Sanhedrin] ceased to exist, song ceased from the places of feasting.” (M. Sotah IX, 12, 11) Indeed, an extremist view states that no one should even smile until the Temple and its sacrificial rite are restored. But this exclusion of instruments from the synagogue did not reflect a negative attitude towards them by the Jewish authorities; rather, instrumental music was an essential part of the sacrificial rite and as such held no place in the newly evolving synagogue liturgies that developed after the Temple’s destruction.

The organ was adopted to accompany singing during synagogue worship as part of the reformed liturgical practices introduced in Germany in the nineteenth century. The choice of the organ was clearly taken from the mainstream culture of Christianity, as were other aspects of the early Reform movement: Shabbat was observed on Sundays and much of the Hebrew service was translated into the vernacular.Perhaps more significantly, synagogues were considered to be modern Temples in their own rights, without the emphasis on restoring a lost sacrificial rite.It was in this frame of mind that man Jewish congregations n Germany and eastern Europe installed impressive organs in their Temples, leading to a flowering of musical composition for cantor, choirs, and organ.

During the twentieth century, there has been a backlash against the more assimilationist facets of the early Reform movement, and this has led to ambiguous views of the organ and its role within modern Jewish liturgical practice. The very sound of the organ reeks of the Church to those who are not knowledgeable of the fine tradition of Jewish music written expressly for the instrument. As a sort of compromise between this fundamental “distrust” of the organ and the need for an instrument to support singing, some Temples have opted to buy pianos (at a fraction of the cost of an organ), while others have resorted to synthesizers and electronic imitations that at best fall very short of the finesse and subtlety available on the organ. Only the largest and wealthiest congregations have maintained the liturgical use of the instrument at the high standard with which it was first introduced to Judaism. Yet despite the rather sad current state of the organ within the Reform movement, a wealth of superb music has continually been composed for cantor and organ, as reflected in the repertoire heard here.

This recording reflects my desire to honor the long tradition of Jewish liturgical music for the organ with a two-fold purpose: to educate those who would spurn the instrument on grounds of assimilation, and to make known to a wider listening public the many gems of musical expression that have been inspired by the Jewish liturgy. The organ has the greatest variety of sounds and pitches of any single musical instrument, and it is ideally suited to leading a congregation in worship, whether it be in majestic praise of God or in quiet contemplation of the divine.

The vast palette of timbres necessary to convey the many styles of music that Erik and I have included here is amply furnished by the Murray Harris organ at Stanford University. Constructed in 1901, this specimen of one of America’s greatest organ builders has survived two major earthquakes (as well as the often more damaging vicissitudes of changing aesthetics!) to remind us today that a beautiful instrument never becomes obsolete, only misunderstood or neglected. It is my hope that this recording will foster interest in the fine repertoire of Jewish liturgical music for the organ so that it will be understood and cherished.

- Dr. Kimberly Marshall

Music by Women: Divine Euterpe
Rosales Organ, Trinity Cathedral, Portland, OR
Kimberly Marshall, organ

List Price: $18.98
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This recording traces the works of female composers from Medieval times through the twentieth century. Played on the Rosales organ of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, this program includes some music never before recorded on compact disc. Featured composers include Elfrida Andree, Florence Price, Ethel Smyth, and Fanny Mendelssohn.

Agincourt Carole/ Anonymous
Susanna van Soldt notebook 1599 (Excerpts/ Anonymous
Verses on the Veni Creator/Anonymous
Organ Symphony in b-minor/ Elfrida Andrée (1841-1929)
Suite for Organ No. 1/ Florence Price (1888-1953)
Prelude and Fugue on O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid/ Ethel Smyth (1858-1944)
Mass L'homme armé/ Margaret Vardell Sandresky (b. 1921)
Prelude for Organ/ Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kimberly Marshall Week!

This week we feature the artistry of Kimberly Marshall. Dr. Marshall will be playing an all-Bach recital at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle this Friday at 7:30 PM. She was also the featured artist on The Organ Loft radio program on Sunday.

To celebrate, all Kimberly Marshall recordings are specially priced this week!

Kimberly Marshall maintains an active career as a concert organist, performing in Europe, the US and Asia. Winner of the St. Albans Competition in 1985, she has been invited to play in prestigious venues and has recorded for Radio-France, the BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she began her organ studies with John Mueller at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Her early interest in French music took her to France where she worked with Louis Robilliard and Xavier Darasse before returning to the US to complete her undergraduate studies with Fenner Douglass.

In 1986, Kimberly Marshall received the D.Phil. in Music from the University of Oxford with a thesis on the late-medieval organ. She has performed throughout Europe, including concerts in London's Royal Festival Hall and Westminster Cathedral; King's College, Cambridge; Chartres Cathedral; Roskilde Cathedral (Denmark); St. Laurenskerk, Alkmaar (Netherlands); as well as the famous Hildebrandt instrument in Naumburg, Germany, that Bach examined in 1746. She enjoys tailoring programs to different instruments, as is evident from her recordings of Italian and Spanish music on historical organs. Her playing is informed by research into obscure repertoire and performance practice, although she does not limit herself to early music. She gave performances of organ works by Ligeti in the presence of the composer, and she has been an advocate for music by Margaret Sandresky and Ofer Ben-Amots. Her recording of Chen Yi’s organ concerto with the Singapore Symphony was released in 2003 on the BIS label.

Dr. Marshall currently is Professor of Organ and Director of the Arizona State University School of Music.

View all of Kimberly Marshall's albums on The Gothic Catalog Website!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Organ Loft - Celebrating Kimberly Marshall

The Organ Loft - April 18, 2010
Celebrating Kimberly Marshall
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule

Kimberly Marshall will be giving an all-Bach concert at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle next Friday at 7:30, so if you'll be in the area, it is not something you'll want to miss!

Make sure to check out everything that Kimberly Marshall has recorded on The Gothic Catalog Store!

The Gothic Catalog will be doing a special Kimberly Marshall sale very soon, so make sure to keep in touch by checking here on the blog, or becoming a Fan on Facebook, or following us on Twitter!

Program: Celebrating Kimberly Marshall
  1. Anon: Renaissance dance from Intabolatura nova (1551)
  2. Buxtehude: Prelude Fugue and Ciacona in C, BuxWV 137
  3. Buxtehude: Ciacona in e, BuxWV 160
  4. J.S. Bach: Fantasy in G minor, BWV 542.1
  5. Mozart: Fantasy in D minor, K. 397
  6. Franck: Fantaisie in C Major (version III)
  7. Herman Berlinski: Haskivenu
  8. DUPRÉ: Prelude and Fugue in b minor, Opus 7, No. 1

Recordings Used:
  1. “Sienese Splendor” Kimberly Marshal, organ; Loft LRCD-1046
  2. “Bach Encounters Buxtehude”, Kimberly Marshall, organ; Loft LRCD-1029
  3. “A Fantasy through Time” Kimberly Marshall, organ; Loft LRCD-1108
  4. “How Excellent is Thy Name” Erik L. F. Contzius, baritone, Kimberly Marshall, organ; Loft LRCD-1101
  5. “Great European Organs, No. 11: Kimberly Marshall Plays the Cavaille-Coll organ of St. Sernin, Toulouse”, Kimberly Marshall, organ; Priory PRCD 261

Listen Online:

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

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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Grand Celebration - New Review

Today we wanted to share a great review of "A Grand Celebration" from "Classical Lost and Found". We'll excerpt a bit of it here and give you the link to the full review on The review is found in their Audiophile Selections page.

Grand Celebration (Macy's 150th; Dupré, Elgar & Jongen); Conte/Wana Org/Milanov/Phil O [Gothic]

-- Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found (, Y100321)

This blockbuster release marks the completion of another chapter in the colorful history of the Wanamaker Organ....

...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.

Read the review in its entirety at

And make sure to get your copy of A Grand Celebration today from The Gothic Catalog

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jonathan Dimmock - Not Just an Organist

In January we released an amazing album of Mendelssohn Organ Sonatas featuring the superb organist, Jonathan Dimmock. But today, we wanted to share with you that Jonathan Dimmock is more than a superb organist, in fact he's also the founder of Artists' Vocal Ensemble (AVE). So today we thought it would be fun to share some videos of AVE!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Echoes of Easter Sale - Ends tonight!

We have many recordings that have an Easter theme, but some of our most popular and unusual—Easter tracks are found on discs with other themes. Today we are featuring Easter music that may be harder to find, but worth the effort!

Each of these albums will be $9.98 only until midnight tonight (April 12), and is limited to stock on hand.

The Hallelujah Chorus
The Westminster Choir and 

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Joseph Flummerfelt, director

List Price $18.98
Today only - Buy for $9.98!

NEW! Richard Purvis: Partita on Christ ist Erstanden
Frederick Swann, organ
List Price $18.98
Today only - Buy for $9.98!

Randall Thompson: Alleluia
Choral Arts, directed by Robert Sparks

List Price $18.98
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Charles Tournemire: Choral-Improvisation: Victimae Paschali
J Melvin Butler, organ
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Marcel Dupré: Passion Symphony
Peter Richard Conte at the Wanamaker organ
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jonathan Dimmock - Superb Mendelssohn Organ Sonatas

Jonathan Dimmock Brilliantly Performs Organ Masterworks Regarded as the Finest Examples of Classical German Organ Literature

An international powerhouse, Jonathan Dimmock has been hailed by the Eskilstuna-Kuriren (Sweden) for "power and flaming brio," cited by the Natal Mercury (South Africa) for "musicianship, taste, and unostentatious virtuosity," and described by the Adelaide Advertiser (Australia) as playing in such a way that "the organ has rarely sounded more clear and multi-hued than in his very expert and virtuoso hands and feet”.  It is no surprise that Dimmock became the first American ever to hold the prestigious position of Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey.

In this superb Loft recording, Dimmock captures the very essence of Mendelssohn’s Sonatasstrength and beauty.  From the full and dramatic F minor chords of the opening sonata to the toccata-style final variation of “Vater unser im Himmelreich” (Sonata 6), to the simply-stated, soft chorale (“Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh’ allzeit”) in Sonata 1, Dimmock grabs hold of the listener with his emotional insight and breathtaking intensely. 

This recording features the 1787 Holzhey organ in the Abbey church of Weißenau.  This beautiful Bavarian organ is a true Classical instrument placed in a stunning acoustical setting.  It has a unique and soothing tonal quality.  Its three manuals and pedal are in original condition, with many warm 8 foot flues, very supportive bass, and original strings and celestas.  It is strong without being strident, warm without being muddy and clear without being self-consciously bright.

Jonathan Dimmock has distinguished himself on Loft Recordings with the music of Sweelinck on mean-tone organs of Holland and Sweden, Messiaen on the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Notre-Dame d'Auteuil, Paris, and a mixed concert at the massive Aeolian-Skinner organ of St. John the Divine in New York.  Dimmock is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, Yale School of Music and Yale Divinity School.  After his time at Westminster Abbey, he served two American cathedrals, St. John the Divine in New York City and St. Mark's in Minneapolis.  Dimmock now resides in California serving as Organist of St. Ignatius Church (San Francisco), Organist of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, Organist of Congregation Sherith Israel (San Francisco), and Organist for the San Francisco Symphony. With the San Francisco Symphony he participated in the Grammy award-winning CD recording of Mahler's Eighth Symphony (Classical Album of the year for 2009).
Orgelsonaten, Opus 65

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Release: Mornings Like This

Recently we released the album, Mornings Like This: Songs of Daybreak and Childhood, so today we would like to not only give you the details of the release, but also feature some insights on the album provided by the conductor, Robert Bode!

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

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

Conductor Robert Bode on "Music Like This":

I am very proud of this CD, my first with the wonderful singers of Choral Arts. In it we explore "Mornings," not just the actual beginning of the day, but also more metaphorical associations, such as renewal, childhood, and beginnngs. There are some very familiar things on this CD, including the spiritual "My Lord, What a Mornin'" and the American hymn "Shall We Gather at the River?" The CD also features 5 previously unrecorded pieces, including "The Dream Keeper" by William Averitt on poems of Langston Hughes and the first recording of the version for chorus and piano of John Corigliano's "Fern Hill." This music is hopeful, challenging and timeless. It has heart!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Organ Loft - Easter Themes

The Organ Loft - April 4, 2010
Easter Themes
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule

Program: Easter Themes
  1. Daniel Pinkham: Alleluia (Alleluia, Acclamation and Carol)
  2. Anon (Lyra Davidica, 1708) arr. D Battwalla: “Jesus Christ is risen Today”
  3. Handel: Hallelujah (from Messiah)
  4. Thompson: Alleluia
  5. John Ireland: Greater love hath no man
  6. Dutch folksong: “This joyful Eastertide”
  7. French carol, arr. Simon Lindley: “Now the green blade riseth”
  8. Frederick Blanc: Variations on O Filii et Filiae (improvisation)
  9. Shaker tune, arr. Sydney Carter: “Lord of the Dance”

Recordings Used:
  1. “Easter”. Choir of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills, Thomas Foster, director, Gothic 49097
  2. “The Hymns Album” Huddersfield Choral Society, Joseph Cullen, conductor; Signum SIGCD079
  3. “A Brass and Organ Christmas in Grace Cathedral” The Bay Brass, John Fenstermaker, organ, A. David Krehbiel, conductor; Gothic G-49120
  4. “Randall Thompson: The Light of Stars” Choral Arts, Richard Sparks, conductor; Gothic G-49226
  5. “Greater Love: The English choral and organ tradition” East Carolina University Chamber Singers, Daniel Bara, conductor; Gothic G-49256
  6. “Frederick Blanc: Improvisations on Easter Themes”, private release CD (available from the Organ Historical Society (
  7. “America the Beautiful” Choirs of Washington National Cathedral, Michael McCarthy, director; WNC0501 (available from the Cathedral)

Listen Online:

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

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

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Most Popular Holy Week Albums

Be Still, My Soul
The Choir of All Saints' Church
Beverly Hills
Dale Adelmann, music director
Craig Phillips, organist
World Premiere Recordings!

A stunning program of contemplative sacred texts set to some of the most beautiful singing we've heard. Slow, focused intensity creates a strong emotional response from many listeners, including us. The Martin piece alone is worth the price of admission. With première recordings of new anthems by Craig Phillips and Roland Martin, this CD is also the first recording of the widely admired Choir of All Saints, Beverly Hills, under its new director, Dale Adelmann.

Fauré: Requium and other choral music
Members of the City of London Sinfonia
Caroline Ashton, soprano
Stephen Varcoe, baritone
John Scott, organ
Simon Standage, solo violin
The Cambridge Singers directed by John Rutter

Gramophone Choral Record of the Year!

'..a revelation: this, surely, is the sound that Fauré imagined as he wrote beautifully sung admirably recorded quite indispensable' -Gramophone

A stellar recording with a stellar cast that has set the gold standard in Fauré's choral music.

All music by Gabriel Fauré
Requiem Messe Basse
Cantique de Jean Racine
Ave verum Corpus
Ave Maria
Maria, mater gratiae
Tantum ergo

Requiem and Magnificat by John Rutter
The Cambridge Singers
City of London Sinfonia
John Rutter, conductor

John Rutter directs his popular Requiem. Paired with the Rutter Magnificat. The Cambridge Singers are impeccable, as usual!

Requiem aeternam
Out of the deep
Pie Jesu
Agnus Dei
The Lord is my shepherd
Lux aeterna

Magnificat anima mea
Of a Rose, a lovely Rose
Quia fecit mihi magna
Et misericordia
Fecit potentiam
Gloria Patri