Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hans Davidsson - Buxtehude and the Schnitger Organ Video

Today we want to share a video we created featuring Hans Davidsson's recording, "Buxtehude and the Schitger Organ", which is the third volume of Buxtehude's complete organ works.

Buxtehude's visit with Arp Schnitger in Hamburg in 1687 began an association that lasted for many years and resulted in the building of the four manual organ at the Cathedral in Lübeck, as well as modifications to the organ at Saint Marien. As there are limited details regarding registrations for Buxtehude's music, Hans Davidsson explores the encounter between the music and the four manual organ in Göteborg, Sweden to bring new perspectives to his performance on this final volume of the complete works of Buxtehude.

Buy Dieterich Buxtehude and the Schnitger Organ from the Gothic Catalog and save.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Celebrating J.S. Bach

March is J.S. Bach month at The Gothic Catalog, and last Sunday on The Organ Loft, we celebrated with an all-Bach program. Today we'd like to share a little from Sunday's Organ Loft to continue J.S. Bach celebrations.

Organ Concertos and Sinfonias by J.S. Bach

The Joe R. Engle Organ of Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary
Paul Fritts and Co. Opus 20
Princeton University Chapel Camerata
Joan Lippincott, organ

Gothic Records G-49130
List Price: $18.98
Purchase at our Price of: $14.98

The Joan Lippincott Bach collection on Gothic (8 discs!)

Joan Lippincott's Bach landmark recordings on Gothic Records! Nincediscs (7 single CDs, one double CD), at a special price.

The following items are included in this set:
Toccatas & Fugues by Bach/Lippincott ($18.98 value!)
Bach: Leipzig Chorales/Lippincott ($18.98 value!)
Bach Trio Sonatas/Lippincott ($18.98 value!)
Sinfonia: Organ Concertos and Sinfonias by J.S. Bach/Lippincott ($18.98 value!)
Preludes & Fugues/Lippincott ($18.98 value!)
Clavierübung III & Schübler Chorales/Lippincott (2 CDs!) ($26.98 value!)
J.S. Bach: Weimar Preludes and Fugues/Lippincott ($18.98 value!)
J.S. Bach: Concerto Transcriptions/Lippincott ($18.98 value!)

Gothic Records
List Price: $178.82
Purchase at our Price of: $74.98

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Organ Loft - Sinfonia! Joan Lippincott plays concertos by J.S. Bach

The Organ Loft - March 20, 2011
Sinfonia! Joan Lippincott plays concertos by J.S. Bach
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule

This week on the Organ Loft, we're featuring Joan Lippincott and recordings of Bach transcriptions. The featured work is the keyboard Concerto in D minor, whose movements were transcribed by Bach for organ with orchestra in various cantata movements.

(All Music in this week's program was composed by J.S. Bach)
  1. Presto from Sinfonia in D major1
  2. Concerto in D minor1
  3. Allegro from Sonata No. 5 in C major, BWV 5292
  4. Concerto in D-minor1

Recordings Used:
  1. “Sinfonia” Joan Lippincott, organ with the Princeton Univ. Chapel Camerata GOTHIC 49130
  2. “Bach: The Trio Sonatas” Joan Lippincott, organ GOTHIC 49116

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, March 17, 2011

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Happy St. Patrick's Day! What better way is there to celebrate than by listening to The Great Organ of Saint Patrick's Cathedral?

Donald Dumler, organist

This organ CD is always in our best-sellers list, year after year. With both popular and unusual works in his progam, Cathedral Organist Donald Dumler strikes just the right balance of musical choices.

Both the Chancel and Grand Gallery Organs were built by Kilgen, and are controlled by two new "twin" five-manual consoles. With 177 stops and over 9,000 pipes, the organ is both a grand musical statement, and a priceless antique whose sounds evoke the ideals of organbuilding in the 1920's.

Bach: Toccata & Fugue in D Minor
Bach: Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
Clarke: Trumpet Voluntary
Creston: Prelude from Suite for Organ
Clokey: Pastorale
Edmundson: Vom Himmel Hoch
Handel: Largo from "Xerxes"
Durufle: Prelude & Fugue on ALAIN
Jongen: Choral
Daniel-Lesur: In Paradisum
Massenet: Meditation from "Thais"
Elgar: Pomp & Circumstance, No. 1

Currently out of stock at, but find it at the following preferred retailers (and both have MP3 versions available):

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The ECU Chamber Singers

Monday we posted a review on the ECU Chamber Singers from the American Record Guide in which the reviewer stated that they were “One of the nation’s finest vocal ensembles". Today we bring you a couple of videos to show you this is no empty statement.

ECU Chamber Sngers - Faire is the Heaven

ECU Chamber Singers - Sanctus from Frank Martin's Mass for Double Chorus a cappella.

Eternal Light
East Carolina University Chamber Singers
Daniel Bara, conductor

New music for a capella choir and solo instruments
Four world-premier recordings
Includes the first recording of Egil Hovland’s Agnus Dei (2000)

Gothic Records G-49242
List price: $18.98
Our price: $15.98

Monday, March 14, 2011

American Record Guide Reviews Eternal Light

From American Record Guide:

“If you follow the best American academic choirs, this one should be on your must-hear list. Their sound is rich and smooth, their technique is well-nigh faultless, and their spiritual intensity will touch any listener’s soul.”

“One of the nation’s finest vocal ensembles & and they prove it here.”

Eternal Light
East Carolina University Chamber Singers
Daniel Bara, conductor

New music for a capella choir and solo instruments
Four world-premier recordings
Includes the first recording of Egil Hovland’s Agnus Dei (2000)

Gothic Records G-49242
List price: $18.98
Our price: $15.98

The ECU Chamber Singers’ first Gothic recording

One of the best-sounding organ/choral discs we have ever recorded!

The ECU Chamber Singers and organist Janette Fishell are conducted by Daniel Bara
in these monuments of the English choral tradition.
The choir’s sound is greatly enhanced by the sumptuous acoustics of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville,
and its large, new Fisk organ.

Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb
Howells: Requiem
Ireland Greater: Love hath no man
and more…

Sound sample of Tu es Petrus (Pearsall)

Gothic Records G-49256
List price: $18.98
Our price: $15.98

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Organ Loft - Potpourri!

The Organ Loft - March 13, 2011
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule

This week on the Organ Loft, we're featuring a wide range of music, and local artists/instruments. We've got Choral Arts Northwest and William Porter playing Bach at PLU. We'll also have music from Craig Phillips, Rheinberger, Flor Peeters, Vierne, Sibelius, Bach, and a Spiritual arranged by Norman Luboff.

  1. CRAIG PHILLIPS: Serenade for Horn and Organ1
  2. RHEINBERGER: Kyrie2
  3. FLOR PEETERS: Aria3
  4. VIERNE: Finale from Symphony no. 1 in d minor op.423
  5. SIBELIUS: Finlandia OP.264
  6. J.S BACH: Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor BWV 5285
  7. Spiritual arr. by Norman Luboff: Deep River2

Recordings Used:
  1. “A Festival in Song: The music of Craig Phillips” GOTHIC G49207
  2. “Choral Arts Live in Concert 200-2003” Choral Arts live concert recording
  3. “Organ Under Glass” Peter Baicchi playing the Crystal Cathedral Organ 1997
  4. “Around The World in 80 Minutes. Nigel Potts, Concert Organist”. GUILD GMCD7165
  5. “One of a Kind; the Music of Johann Sebastian Bach” William Porter, organist. LOFT LRCD1025

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Gothic Catalog has gone Global

We are pleased to announce that Naxos is now offering global distribution of The Gothic Catalog through Naxos affiliates worldwide including:

Costa Rica
Czech Republic
El Salvador
Hong Kong
New Zealand
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States of America

The mission of The Gothic Catalog is to generate enthusiasm and literacy in classical music, particular music for organs and choirs. The Gothic Catalog with Loft Recordings publishes recordings, produces a weekly radio program (The Organ Loft), provides recording services for artists, and offers recordings for sale through and a mail order catalog.

The Gothic Catalog:
Loft Recordings was founded in 1999; in 2001, Loft purchased the assets of Gothic Records, a company which had been producing great organ and choral recordings for almost 25 years. Loft established "The Gothic Catalog" as a mail-order webstore where recordings from both companies could be showcased, alongside other recordings from third-party labels. In June 2008, we acquired Clarion Records, a record label which features semi-professional American choirs and a large catalog of world premier choral recordings. And in 2009 we became the exclusive publisher and distributor of recordings from the Washington National Cathedral.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hymns Through the Centuries - Digitally Re-Mastered

We have just completed a full digital re-mastering of the most popular recordings in our catalog:

Hymns through the Centuries
The Cathedral Choral Society
Washington National Cathedral

Great hymns from the broad church tradition sung by a large choir in a monumental space with a large organ.
You will be singing along—guaranteed!

Add volume 2 for a special package price of $24.98!


When in our music God is glorified
Ye watchers and ye holy ones
A mighty fortress is our God
Where cross the crowded ways of life
O sacred head, sore wounded
All glory, laud and honor
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide
My shepherd will supply my need
Come, ye thankful people, come
Let all mortal flesh keep silence
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
Come, risen Lord
Carillon hymn: St Peter
Eternal Father, strong to save
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty
Nearer, my God, to thee
Dear Lord and Father of mankind
In Christ there is no East or West
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Crown Him with many crowns
Word of God, come down on earth
The Church's one foundation
God of our fathers
Father, in thy gracious keeping
Peal Bells

Peal Bells
Jesus, my all, to heaven has gone
Our thanks we give for love and hope
In the bleak midwinter
Creating God, your fingers trace
Rejoice, ye pure in Heart!
Let all the world in every corner sing
Organ solo: Ar hyd y nos
Of the Father's love begotten
Come down, O Love divine
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart
God is love
What wondrous love is this!
All my hope on God is founded
Carillon Solo: Leoni
O God of our divided world
Christ, might Savior
Breathe on me, Breath of God
I vow to thee, my country
The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended
Lord of all hopefulness
O brightness of the immortal Father's face
O praise ye the Lord!
Bagpipe Solo: Hyfrydol

Gothic G-49112 Volume 1
Retail price: $18.98
Our price: $15.98

Gothic G-49204 Volume 2
Retail price: $18.98
Our price: $15.98

Volumes 1 & 2 together
Retail price: $37.96
Our Price $24.98!

Click here to see all of our hymn CDs

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Organ Loft - Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra at Trinity Lutheran; Duruflé Mass 'Cum Jubilo'

The Organ Loft - March 6, 2011
Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra at Trinity Lutheran; Duruflé Mass 'Cum Jubilo'
Webcast and Broadcast Schedule

This week on the Organ Loft, we're featuring music for the end of Epiphany and the beginning of Lent. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra plays Bach and Improvisations on Lutheran choral themes (at Trinity Lutheran in Lynnwood), followed by Maurice Duruflé’s Mass cum jubilo for men’s voices and organ (Trinity College, Cambridge).

  1. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra: Improvisation: Dance Suite on “Wie Schön leuchtet der Morgenstern”1
  2. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra: Improvisation: “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden”1
  3. Gabriel Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine1
  4. J. S. Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in a, BWV 9041
  5. J. S. Bach: “Erbarm dich, mein, O Herre Gott” BWV 7211
  6. J. S. Bach: “Fantasia super “Komm, Heiliger Geist” BWV 6511
  7. Maurice Duruflé: Messe 'Cum jubilo' Opus 112

Recordings Used:
  1. “Bach, Improvisations and the Liturgical Year” Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra, organ. ReZound RZCD-5016
  2. “Duruflé: Complete Choral Works” Choir of Trinity College, Richard Marlow, dir. Chandos CHAN 10357

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, March 3, 2011

Buxtehude Organ Works Reviews

Here are some more great reviews for Hans Davidsson's Complete Organ Works of Buxtehude collection:

"I bought your registration Dieterich Buxtehude and the Mean-Tone Organ employing the ULSI technique. It’s really fantastic the high level of quality you are able to extrapolate from the true sound of the organ." —Gianni Movia, Italy

"I just heard the Buxtehude. It’s incredible! Wow! The music, performer, organ, room and recording are perfectly matched with the highest quality. The sound of the organ came to the point of the true reproduction of the reality." —Munetaka Yokota, organbuilder

"Buy this album if you are interested in audio technology and are curious about what Erik Sikkema means by ULSI technology!" —Hans Hellsten, Sweden

"Diderich ‘Hansen’ Buxtehude (1637–1707) was born in Denmark, and was active as an organist, composer, and cultural entrepreneur in Denmark and Sweden as well as in Germany, where he became known as Dieterich Buxtehude. He grew up in Helsingør, Denmark, and served as organist in Helsingborg (now in Sweden) and Helsingør before accepting one of the most prestigious musical positions in North Germany, that of organist at St. Mary’s Church, Lübeck, in 1668. During his nearly forty years of service there he achieved fame not only as an organist but also as the composer and director of a concert series known as the Lübeck Abendmusiken. Although he left an impressive corpus of arias, sacred concertos, and cantatas for voices with instruments as well as two printed editions of sonatas for strings, it is chiefly his organ works that captured the attention of performers both in his day and in our own. His organ music appeals to modern listeners because it is full of the fantasy, variety and unpredictability that characterises seventeenth-century music, yet is rooted in the major-minor tonal system familiar to our ears. The works fall into two broad categories, those based on chorale melodies and those freely composed. He set many chorales as short preludes, with a highly ornamented melody to be played by the right hand on one manual, a two-voice accompaniment for a second manual, and a continuo-like bass for the pedal. Despite their unity of style, they show endless variety in their ornamentation. His extensive chorale fantasias, on the other hand, develop each phrase of the chorale in a contrasting style. His free pedaliter praeludia are the works for which e is best known, demonstrating his virtuosity as both a composer and a performer. The large organ that Buxtehude played in St Mary’s in Lübeck had fifty-four stops on three manuals and pedal. Recent research suggests that it may have been in mean tone, a tuning in which the tonal excursions that Buxtehude included in some of his praeludia would have been difficult to play. Hans Davidsson’s bold undertaking of the recording of Buxtehude’s entire organ repertoire in mean tone gives us startling new insights into how this ‘heavenly harmony’ might have sounded in the seventeenth century. This beautifully produced double-CD is the first in a projected three-volume series from Loft Recordings and is essential listening for anyone interested in early organ music."
—John Pitt, New Classics (UK)

"Hans Davidsson has recently released a recording called ”Dieterich Buxtehude and the Mean-Tone Organ”. It is a double CD and the first of three sets that will cover the complete organ works of Dietrich Buxtehude. It is not merely another recording of the complete organ works of Buxtehude, but a recording with a vision and a pedagogical design.

"The idea is to record Buxtehude on a large organ in mean-tone, something that has never been done before. The reason it hasn’t been done before is that that there has been a belief that the music of Buxtehude has been intended for well-tempered organs – but convenience has probably also played a part. Newer research has shown that the organ works of Buxtehude were written in a context where mean-tone temperament was an important ingredient. A counter-argument based around the existence of pieces in remote keys- such as the preludes in f#-minor and A major – is not sustainable since the keyboard compositions of Buxtehude’s time didn’t have the same function as they began to have around hundred years later in music history. Composing and improvising were still two parts of the same practice, so a composition lived a life that probably consisted of a large number of improvised versions and one or several written down versions (perhaps even in different keys). The written notation of a piece was a tool to develop and spread (to colleagues and students) that organ playing that was mostly improvised.

“Pedagogical design” is a somewhat clumsy way to say that Hans Davidsson’s recording is so much more than a recording. The buyer gets a richly illustrated booklet, and if he or she is not content with the exciting essays there are even more detailed program notes and registration indications of the record label’s website. The program notes are excellent examples of texts that contain a good balance of facts, speculations and explanations of musical choices.

"I suspect a larger ambition behind this very complete production. The aurally and visually magnificent organs, the important role of the organist in both church service s and local musical life and a music making where composition, improvisation and interpretation were different sides of the same practice: all these aspects of the North German Baroque organ art can be made into a story about the golden age of organ art. And that is what Hans Davidsson achieves with rhetorical power in both playing and texts. The story of the golden age makes us question our present but also- paradoxically – enables us to shape our future. Presumably that is the intention, and I think that is excellent.

"This is a double CD that can be recommended in every respect to be bought, listened to, studied and challenged by:

"Buy this record if you are interested in sound recording and are curious about what Erik Sikkema’s USLI-technique means. It is enough to listen to it with just open ears to realize that organs seldom sounds this good on records, you can hear both the room and the details.

"Listen to this music if you, in an increasingly more noisy, more tone deaf and more insensitive world are in need of good examples and inspiring role models to be able to continue your work as a church musician, organist or pedagogue! Here is a story from the golden age of organ art, from the 17th century North Germany where the bourgeois proudly invested in magnificent organs and where the organist was a kind of musical preacher.

"Study this production even if you have heard all earlier and current recordings of Buxtehude’s organ works, and even if you have played them all! There are new details to discover, new relationships to understand and new interpretations to experience. Hans Davidsson has begun a rereading of the musical heritage of Buxtehude; a rereading that surprises, challenges and pleases. It is for example an excellent idea to use the history of David and Goliath as an interpretive pattern for the battered Prelude Fugue and Ciacona in C-major. To play Buxtehude in mean-tone is a risky decision, but here it is so well argued and convincingly done that all you can say is: of course, this is the way it must be. It must be impossible not to be seduced by the lovely principals and flutes of the Örgryte organ.

"Be challenged by this record if you think that music can’t be talked about. It is reasonable that you sometime not speak instead of playing or listening. But there is a rich tradition, at least within what is nowadays called western art music, to talk about music, and to let that speaking and knowledge enrich the interpretation and the listening. Hans Davidsson shows with his interpretation of the Preludium in D-major (BuxWV 139), that there is instrumental music that is so close to speech that even if it doesn’t speak, it can be understood clearly.

"Hans Davidsson’s ”Buxtehude and the Mean-Tone Organ” is a brilliant combination of musicality, fantasy, learning and pedagogy. Buy it! Since both the musicianship and program notes are so rich in information the record should be enjoyed in small doses, but that is a good thing: it lasts longer!"

Hans Hellsten, Swedish Church Music Journal
Professor of organ at the School of Music in Malmö, Sweden
Translation Fredrik Tobin

Buxtehude Organ Works—Hans Davidsson (7 CDs total)

Volume 1: Buxtehude and the Mean-Tone Organ (2 CDs)
Volume 2: The Bach Perspective (2 CDs)
Volume 3: Buxtehude and the Schnitger Organ (3 CDs)

North German Baroque Organ, Gothenburg, Sweden

Recent research shows that Buxtehude had only mean-tone organs at his disposal during his life. Although there are many good recordings on well-tempered organs (including some antiques), performing these works on mean-tone instruments requires both a radical re-assessment of traditional performance ideas and a large and extraordinary organ. Hans Davidsson is the ideal performer for this task, and he plays the huge “North German Baroque Organ” of Gothenburg, Sweden. The complete organ works are recorded here in three volumes totaling seven compact discs.