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Dongho Lee Plays the Kennedy Center Organ at Providence UMC, Charlotte, NC - [OAR-143] $15.98

Dongho Lee, winner of the First Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2010 AGO National Competition, plays the Aeolian-Skinner built for the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington, D. C., relocated in 2015 to Providence United Methodist Church, Charlotte, NC, where Dongho Lee is Artist-in-Residence.

ELGAR: First  mvt. Allegro Maestoso from Organ Sonata, op. 28
STANFORD: Postlude in D Minor, op. 105, no. 6
RHEINBERGER: Introduction & Passacaglia from Organ Sonata No. 8, op. 132
BUCK: Variations on Old Folks at Home
DUPRÉ: Allegro deciso from Évocation: Poème symphonique, op. 37
EBEN: Moto Ostinato & Finale from Sunday Music

Parkey OrganBuilders of Duluth, Georgia, used the pipes, console shell, keys, and some other parts of the Aeolian-Skinner, adding some new ranks and rescaling and voicing others, building mostly new mechanism, creating an instrument of 64 ranks in four manual divisions and pedal.

Notes on the Music
The concept of eclecticism in organbuilding is complex largely due to the nebulous definition of the idea. Whether or not the Aeolian-Skinner organ at Providence United Methodist Church as rebuilt by Parkey OrganBuilders qualifies as an eclectic organ depends on an individual’s concept of eclecticism. Regardless of one’s opinion, the organ at Providence is certainly versatile, providing an ideal sonic landscape for certain repertoire and a convincing one for many others. With this characteristic in mind, the selections on this recording seek to demonstrate the great versatility of this instrument.

Edward Elgar: Allegro Maestoso from Sonata for Organ, op. 28
Written in 1895, Edward Elgar’s Sonata for Organ represents the pinnacle of English organ composition in the late Victorian era. With four movements, it is among the most noteworthy large-scale compositions for the organ from the nineteenth century. The Sonata, however, was not an immediate success. Elgar had planned for its premiere during the visit of a group of American musicians to Worcester Cathedral. Unfortunately, the piece was finished only four days before the premier, and the performance suffered due to insufficient preparation time. Nevertheless, the work has become a cornerstone of the English romantic organ repertory. The first movement of the Sonata is written in strict sonata-allegro form and offers the listener all of the harmonic and melodic characteristics that have become trademarks of Elgar’s distinctive musical style.

George Thalben-Ball: Elegy
Sir George Thalben-Ball was organist and choirmaster at the Temple Church in London where he and his choir earned national fame for their choral recordings in the 1920s. In addition to his church work, he served as Birmingham City Organist and director of the BBC Singers as well as curator of the organ at Royal Albert Hall. Despite his more conservative style, his music remains popular with audiences for its direct appeal and solid artistry. His Elegy presents a single sustained melody in a dynamic arch that begins softly, builds to a climax and concludes at rest once again, similar to many of the works of his contemporaries Herbert Howells and Frank Bridge. The Elegy was originally an improvisation that Thalben-Ball played at the end of a choral evensong radio broadcast around 1930, which he later notated and published.

Charles Villiers Stanford: Postlude in D Minor, op. 105, no. 6   
Charles Villiers Stanford, Irish by birth, is considered one of England’s greatest composers. Today he is known for his large number of works for choir in service of Anglican liturgy, but he was an equally skilled composer of instrumental music, including for the organ. The piece on this recording is actually unnamed, but bears the number six in a collation of works titled Six Short Preludes and Postludes. It is described in the score as “Founded on an old Irish church melody.” Given the character of the piece, we have taken the liberty to assign it the title of “Postlude.” This piece alternates between a pompous theme in D minor and a lyrical theme in D major. Following a brief development, the two themes end triumphantly in D major.

Dudley Buck: Variations on Old Folks at Home
Dudley Buck was an American organist and composer who studied at Trinity College (Hartford) and later in Leipzig and Paris. Recognized for his successful blending of popular appeal and artistic merit, his fame in the nineteenth century rested upon his reputation as a virtuoso organist and as a composer of secular cantatas. Buck’s variations on The Last Rose of Summer (1877) and The Star-Spangled Banner (1868) are his most popular works for the organ. Less elaborate, but no less charming, is his Variations on Old Folks at Home (1888). The original song, written by Stephen Foster in 1851, has experienced a love-hate relationship in the United States as a classic melody of Americana but with controversial lyrics. Revisions and new words have been supplied in recent decades with the approval of the Foster estate and foundation housed at the University of Pittsburgh. Despite the lyrics, the tune as an independent element has remained popular with audiences, folk musicians, and classical musicians alike. The tune alone has been a source of inspiration for composers as diverse as Buck, George Gershwin, and Antonín Dvorák.

Josef Rheinberger: Introduction and Passacaglia from Sonata No. 8, op. 132   

In general musical history Josef Rheinberger is known primarily as an influential teacher; within the organ world, however, he is known for his twenty organ sonatas. His original plan was to complete one sonata in all twenty-four keys (much like Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier), but he passed away before his project was completed. Firmly rooted in the Classical tradition, Rheinberger disliked the music of Liszt and Wagner, and his vast corpus of organ music reflects his affinity more to the music of Bach, Mozart, and earlier nineteenth-century composers such as Mendelssohn and Schubert. Sonata no. 8 is one of Rheinberger’s better-known works, largely due to the popularity of its exquisite final movement, the Passacaglia. This movement is perhaps Rheinberger’s most famous work and is often coupled with the introduction from the first movement and played on its own, as in the performance recorded here.

Marcel Dupré: Allegro deciso from Évocation, op. 37

Marcel Dupré, the famed organist of St-­Sulpice in Paris, composed Évocation in 1941. He drew on two sources of inspiration for its composition, the first of which was his father. Albert Dupré had been organist of the great Cavaillé-­Coll organ at St-Ouen in Marcel’s hometown of Rouen. Marcel dedicated Évocation to his father’s memory, declaring that its three movements represented three characteristics that Marcel admired about him, saying “My idea is to portray three sides of my father’s character: he was a fearful person, like myself; he was tender; and he was proud, in the sense of dignified.” The other source of inspiration was the organ at St-Ouen itself. Considered to be Cavaillé-Coll’s masterpiece, it was completed in 1890 but dismantled during World War II for protection. When it was restored in 1941, Marcel gave the rededication concert at which Évocation received its premiere. The third movement, Allegro deciso, is in rondo form with the internal themes being borrowed from the preceding movements of Évocation, lending the work a cyclic unity. It concludes with a transformation of the first movement’s primary theme. Originally in a gloomy C minor, Évocation concludes in a triumphant C major.

Petr Eben: Moto Ostinato and Finale from Sunday Music
Sunday Music, completed in 1959, is Petr Eben’s first major cycle for solo organ and has been his most well-known work for the instrument ever since. Sunday Music displays many of the integral elements of Eben’s early style, including traditional forms with programmatic elements, symphonic approaches to organ composition and registration, and neo-classicism. Sunday Music is essentially an organ symphony following a traditional four-movement plan. The third movement Moto Ostinato – perhaps Eben’s most popular single work – is a menacing scherzo with an incessant ostinato pattern that becomes increasingly sinister. Moto Ostinato also contains a programmatic element, which Eben explained as being inspired by the chilling episode from the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus confronts a demon. After exorcising the demon from its victim, Jesus asks the demon his name, to which the demon replies, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” (Mark 5:9) With its repeating rhythmic motive, Moto Ostinato depicts a growing spiritual army of demons preparing for war. The Finale continues the plot of Moto Ostinato. In sonata-allegro form, the Finale begins with an angular trumpet call amid a flurry of sextuplets. The contrasting second theme is the plainchant melody Kyrie Lux et origo. The programmatic element of the Finale is highlighted by these two themes: the first represents the forces of evil, and the second represents the forces of good that seem to cry out for divine assistance. An extensive development follows with an increasingly militaristic character. The program reaches its denouement in the recapitulation: the first theme returns with particular vengeance; but when the second theme returns, it has been replaced by a triumphant presentation of the plainchant Salve Regina. The victory of good over evil is a common theme found throughout Eben’s music and is central to Eben’s general view of both life and religion. — Andrew Pester

Dongho Lee, a native of Seoul, South Korea, is Artist-in-Residence at Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is Director of Music Ministries and Organist at First Presbyterian Church in Belmont, North Carolina. Praised for her “drive and energy, coupled with the ability to tenderly shape a musical line,” (The Journal, Association of Anglican Musicians) she was awarded both the First Prize (Lilian Murtagh Memorial Prize) and the Audience Prize in the 2010 American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance, which was held at the 50th National AGO Convention in Washington, D. C. Ms. Lee has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, and South Korea. Significant recent venues in which she has performed include the Washington National Cathedral, Duke University Chapel, the Cathedral of St. Philip (Atlanta), the Cadet Chapel of the United States Air Force Academy, Methuen Memorial Music Hall, and the Cathedral of the Madeleine (Salt Lake City). She has played at the invitation of numerous AGO chapters and was a featured artist at the 2012 AGO National Convention and at the 2015 AGO Great Lakes and the 2013 AGO Southeast Regional Conventions. Also in 2013, she was a featured performer at the national convention of the Association of Anglican Musicians. Additionally, she has performed as soloist with orchestra featuring concerti by Poulenc and Handel. Her first commercial recording was released in early summer 2011 on the Pro Organo label, and features 20th-century organ music performed on the C. B. Fisk organ (op. 135) at Indiana University. Ms. Lee is currently Adjunct Instructor of Organ at Davidson College.

Ms. Lee earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yonsei University in Korea, during which time she served as organist of the Seoul Anglican Cathedral. In 2004, she moved to the United States to continue her studies at Yale University and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she earned a second master’s degree and was awarded the Julia R. Sherman Prize for excellence in organ playing. Ms. Lee pursues doctoral studies at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she was a recipient of the inaugural Jacobs Scholarship and also served as Associate Instructor of Organ. Her teachers include Tong-Soon Kwak, Martin Jean, and  Christopher Young.

The Organ
by Phillip K. Parkey, President and Tonal Director, Parkey OrganBuilders

Parkey OrganBuilders Opus 14 is located in the sanctuary at Providence United Methodist Church, Charlotte, North Carolina, and was completed in 2013. The organ replaces a limited and ailing pipe organ from the 1960s.
The church had considered many possibilities when we proposed to build a significant instrument using core resources from the Aeolian-Skinner organ located in the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.

Our proposal was accepted and the Kennedy Center organ was removed in 2012 (to be replaced by a new pipe organ). For Providence, we built an organ of 64 ranks complete with new electro­pneumatic slider windchests, a new winding system, a new solid state switching system and preserving the shell, keyboards, and some other components of the ­Aeolian-Skinner console. New, twin cases housing the 16' Principal and 16' Violon were designed and built by our firm for the chancel.

Scaling, which typically ran small for most builders in the 1960s (Aeolian-Skinner op. 1472 was contracted in 1965 and installed in 1971, just before the firm ceased operations in 1972), did indeed prove to be too small for the 2700-seat hall at the Kennedy Center. But the resources turned out to be a perfect fit for the ­900-seat sanctuary at Providence UMC. Minor rescaling and major re-voicing completed the trans­formation for the church. Several ranks were replaced for visual and scal­ing improvement. Wind pres­sures were raised from 2" to a more normal 3" to 4" pressure. There are two solo reeds: the Fanfare Trumpet retained from the ­Aeolian-Skinner on 10" of wind pressure and a new, nickel-plated State Trumpet on 9" of wind pressure. The latter is situated on the front wall of the chancel. The 32' Subbass was retained and the 32' Contra Posaune was replaced with one of a larger scale.

The comprehensive specification encourages convincing performances of many different styles of music.

Providence United Methodist Church, Charlotte, North Carolina
Parkey OrganBuilders, Duluth, Georgia, Op. 14
Aeolian-Skinner Op. 1472, 1965-71, Kennedy Center, Washington, D. C.,  relocated and revised
64 ranks, 62 stops, *new or replacement pipes, 3 manuals and pedal

GREAT 14 Ranks, 11 Stops
16 Violon* 61 pipes (facade)
8 Principal 61 pipes
8 Violon 12 pipes
8 Gedeckt 61 pipes
4 Octave 61 pipes
4 Rohrflote 61 pipes
2 Super Octave 61 pipes
IV-V Mixture 1-1/3' 268 pipes
16 Contra Trompete 61 pipes
8 Trompete 61 pipes
4 Klarine 61 pipes
8 State Trumpet* 68 pipes
Solo on Great
Swell to Great 16 8 4
Choir to Great 16 8

CHOIR enclosed 15 Rks, 12 Stps
16 Flauto Dolce 12 pipes
8 Spitzprincipal 61 pipes
8 Holzgedeckt 61 pipes
8 Flauto Dolce 61 pipes
8 Flute Celeste TC 49 pipes
4 Principal 61 pipes
4 Spillflote 61 pipes
2-2/3 Nazat 61 pipes
2 Spitzflote* 61 pipes
1-3/5 Terz 61 pipes
1-1/3 Larigot 61 pipes
IV Scharf 1' 244 pipes
8 Cromorne* 61 pipes
8 State Trumpet Great
Choir 16, 4, Unison Off
Solo on Choir
Swell to Choir 16 8 4

SWELL enclosed
17 Ranks, 14 Stops
16 Pommer* 61 pipes
8 Principal 61 pipes
8 Rohrflote 61 pipes
8 Viole De Gambe 61 pipes
8 Viole Celeste 61 pipes
4 Octave 61 pipes
4 Spitzflote 61 pipes
2 Blockflote 61 pipes
III-IV Plein Jeu 2-2/3' 266 pipes
16 Basson 61 pipes
8 Trompette 61 pipes
8 Hautbois 61 pipes
4 Clarion 61 pipes
8 Vox Humana* 61 pipes
Vox Humana Tremulant
Swell 16, 4, Unison Off
Solo on Swell

SOLO 2 Ranks, 5 Stops
8 Harmonic Flute 61 pipes
16 Fanfare Trumpet TC
8 Fanfare Trumpet 61 pipes
4 Fanfare Clarion 12 pipes
Chimes retained from previous Zimmer organ

PEDAL 16 Ranks, 20 Stops
32 Subbass 12 pipes
16 Principal* 32 pipes (facade)
16 Subbass 32 pipes
16 Violon Great
16 Pommer Swell
16 Flauto Dolce Choir
8 Octave 32 pipes
8 Violon Great
8 Bourdon 12 pipes
8 Spitzgedackt 32 pipes
4 Choral Bass 32 pipes
4 Nachthorn 32 pipes
2 Hohlflote 32 pipes
IV Mixture 128 pipes
32 Contra Posaune* 12 pipes
16 Posaune* 32 pipes
16 Fagotto 32 pipes
16 Basson Swell
8 Trompete 32 pipes
4 Schalmei 32 pipes
Great to Pedal 8
Swell to Pedal 8 4
Choir to Pedal 8 4
Solo to Pedal 8


128 Memory Levels
12 General Pistons  Thumb and Toe
Divisional Pistons:
  8 Swell, Choir Thumb
  6 Great Thumb
  4 Solo Thumb
  8 Pedal Toe
Piston sequencer
Any Piston Next

Reversibles Thumb & Toe:
Swell to Pedal Rev.
Great to Pedal Rev.
Choir to Pedal Rev.
Solo to Pedal Rev.
32 Contra Posaune Rev.
32 Subbass Rev.
Full Organ Rev.
Zimbelstern Rev. Thumb

Manual I-II Transfer

Dongho Lee Plays the Kennedy Center Organ at Providence UMC, Charlotte, NC
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