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Organo Plano: Music for a Joyous Occasion
Scott Montgomery Plays the 90-rank Reuter 4m organ
Christ United Methodist Church, Plano, Texas - [OAR-944]

Writes Matthew Power in Choir & Organ: "Enjoy this all-American classic organ for its extreme smoothnes, plus Scott Montgomery's persuasive interpretations."

Scott Montgomery
, winner of the 2006 AGO National Young Artists Competition, plays a brand new 90-rank Reuter organ of four manuals completed in 2010 at Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas.
Conrad Susa (B. 1935): March for a Joyous Occasion
Jean-Adam Guilain (1680-1739): Tierce en taille from Suite on the Second Tone
J. S. Bach (1685-1750): Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr, BWV 663
Nicholas Bruhns (1665-1697): Praeludium in E Minor (Larger)
Eugène Gigout (1844-1925): Scherzo
Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933): Adeste fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful) from Cathedral Windows
Karg-Elert: Saluto angelico (Ave Maria Chant) from Cathedral Windows
George Shearing (1919-2011): Amazing Grace
Leo Sowerby (1895-1968): Carillon
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921): Danse Macabre
Dudley Buck (1839-1909): Variations on Home Sweet Home
John Knowles Paine (1839-1906): Concert Variations on the Austrian Hymn

Notes on the Music

Conrad Susa
(b.1935) is chair of the Composition Department at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has written for film, television, and theater. His works include choral and orchestral compositions, as well as a number of pieces for organ. The March for a Joyous Occasion is the result of his association with the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California. It was written in 1985 for the marriage of Tom Hall, the Globe’s general manager. Opening fanfares contrast the Tuba stop with full organ, followed by a lyrical theme with rhythmic motives played on the Trumpet en Chamade. The middle section is a trio with a pizzicato pedal line. Finally, the lyrical theme returns, this time with more energetic flourishes on the Chamade, and moves to a grand climax based on the opening fanfares.

In the early 18th century, the main use of the organ in the French Catholic Mass was in alternation with choral chanting. Although much of this organ music was improvised, many fine written examples of French Classical repertoire survive. Jean Adam Guilain (1680-1739) wrote his four suites for the Magnificat on the first four church modes. The suite’s movements correspond to the Gregorian chants sung throughout the Mass. This Tierce en Taille comes from Guilain’s second suite. It features slow moving harmony played by the right hand and pedal on a chorus of flute stops, and a melody played by the left hand in tenor range on a combination of organ stops including Tierce. This characteristically quiet movement transports the listener to a meditative and ethereal world.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) spent most of his years searching for the ideal position as a church organist and choirmaster. His massive compositional output includes a vast range of vocal and instrumental works. In contrast to French traditions, the Lutheran service of the time was full of congregational singing. Chorale preludes for organ were an important part of Bach’s writing, introducing the hymns in an elaborate fashion. Three versions of Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr appear in the great Eighteen Leipzig Chorale Preludes. This second setting consists of a magnificent accompaniment based on the cantus firmus, surrounding a boldly ornamented chorale in the tenor range, played on a reed stop.

Nicolaus Bruhns (1665-1697) came from a musical family and began playing and composing for the organ at an early age. He studied with Dietrich Buxtehude, who regarded him as a favorite student. Dying at the early age of 32, Bruhns’ music is represented by only a small collection existing today. The great Praeludium in E Minor is arranged in the typical stylus fantasticus of North German toccatas, consisting of free improvisatory sections and structured contrapuntal fugal sections. While conventional in its structure, the constantly changing figurations and textures are quite striking. Known as an accomplished violist as well, Bruhns imitates solo string playing in the middle section with rapid arpeggios. He takes full advantage of abrupt pauses in the free sections, foreshadowing the tension of the short, interrupted motives of the final fugue subject.

Eugene Gigout (1844-1925) was a widely-known Parisian teacher and composer. He was appointed Organist Titulaire at the Church of St. Augustin at the age of 19 and later joined the faculty of the Paris Conservatoire. He studied with Camille Saint-Saëns and received tremendous support from him. Saint-Saëns regarded him as one of the greatest organists he had ever known because of his proficient technique and his amazing improvisational skills. The Scherzo is one of Gigout’s most popular works. Through the use of arpeggios and scales, he created a light, vigorous piece with rather simple melodic content. The middle section explores the flutes and foundation stops of the organ in conjunction with virtuosic keyboard changes.

Cathedral Windows was composed by Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) in his home study and published in England in 1923. This collection follows the Seven Pastels from the Lake of Constance, which is full of narrative references depicting various aspects of the lake. The Cathedral Windows, based on six Gregorian chants, are described by Karg-Elert as being composed in a “pure organ idiom,” a departure from earlier “picture-painting” technique.
Adeste fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful) is light and buoyant with dotted rhythms and playful motives. Even though picture-painting was abandoned, one can visualize the “joyfully triumphant” running or skipping to meet the Christ Child in the manger. On the other hand, Saluto angelico (based on the Ave Maria) is more serious and serene. Although these chants are somewhat neutral in tone, Karg-Elert brilliantly composed music that takes full advantage of the organ’s tonal resources in conjunction with his kaleidoscopic harmonies.

Blind jazz pianist George Shearing (1919-2011) immigrated to the United States from England following World War II. In 1977, he created a volume of American folk hymns entitled Sacred Sounds from George Shearing. Shearing recorded a series of improvisations at the piano that were later transcribed to paper. With the help of Dale Wood, distinguished organist and composer, many hours were spent at the organ transforming the pieces into organ scores and developing registrations for color and texture. Amazing Grace explores these jazz elements in a set of variations on one of America’s best-known hymn tunes.

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) developed his musical expertise first as a student and later while a faculty member at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. In 1927, he was appointed organist and choirmaster at St. James Cathedral. He has been named the “Dean of American Church Music,” but one could also deem him a “Dean of Concert Organ Music.” The organ was becoming increasingly popular in the early 1900s as the appeal of the symphonic organ surged through the country. Builders such as E. M. Skinner paved the way for composers like Sowerby with a wealth of mechanical and tonal innovations. The Carillon is orchestral in its conception, taking full advantage of the organ’s warm string tones, color reeds, and even percussion stops, including the harp and chimes.

Danse Macabre, the third of four symphonic poems by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was premiered in 1874. While this piece is most frequently performed as an orchestral work, it was not originally conceived in orchestral terms. Saint-Saëns adapted it from one of his songs for voice and piano. It has been transcribed for many solo and duet performances, including this version for organ by Edwin H. Lemare. Saint-Saëns illustrates the eccentric tale of Death’s frenzied dance as energetic and fun. The work begins with the tolling of midnight bells, followed by Death portrayed as a fiddler. Dies Irae, the ancient liturgical chant for the dead and heard during the Requiem Mass, makes a statement in the middle of the piece in an almost joking manner. The main themes return with increasing fervor until, with the abrupt signal of the cock’s crow, the dancers disperse and vanish quietly at the break of dawn.

Dudley Buck (1839-1909) was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied at both Trinity College and the Leipzig Conservatory, completing additional work in Dresden and Paris. Upon returning to the United States, he held positions as organist in Hartford, Chicago, Boston, and Brooklyn. Home Sweet Home is a song that was written by English composer Sir Henry Bishop with lyrics by actor John Howard Payne. Buck composed many pieces for concert on popular tunes of the day. He originally composed these variations as an orchestral piece, and he later transcribed them for the organ. This song was a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln, and also found its way into several movies, including The Wizard of Oz. It had such an effect on homesick Civil War soldiers that it was eventually banned by the commanding generals.

John Knowles Paine (1839-1906) was the first person appointed a full professor of music in the United States at Harvard University. He was born in Portland, Maine, studied in Germany, and was regarded as a leading organist in America. The Concert Variations on the Austrian Hymn was most likely composed during his stay in Germany. This piece is full of imagination in each variation. Typical of Paine and other American composers of his time, he explores a wide palette of compositional technique through the movements, including one in a minor “haunting” key, another with a rousing explosion of demanding pedal work, and finally concluding with a masterful, triumphant fugue.

Scott Montgomery
Scott Montgomery is Director of Music Ministries and Organist for Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Champaign, Illinois. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in organ performance, studying with Dr. Dana Robinson. Mr. Montgomery has won prizes in several competitions, including the 1997 AGO Region V Competition and the 2002 Arthur Poister National Organ Competition in Syracuse, New York. In 2006, he was winner of both the Lilian Murtagh Memorial Award (First Prize) and the Audience Prize of the American Guild of Organists’ National Young Artist Competition in Organ Playing (NYACOP), the first person to win both prizes in the history of the competition. Acclaimed both for his musical sensitivity and rock-solid technique, Mr. Montgomery has been a featured artist for national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the National Pastoral Musicians, and the Organ Historical Society. His performances have been broadcast on American Public Media’s series, Pipedreams.

The Organ
In 2010, the Reuter Organ Company installed this four-manual organ for Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, in a newly constructed sanctuary that seats 1,400 and soars to an interior height of six stories. Filling this huge space with sound required a heroically-scaled instrument with fully developed principal choruses in all divisions, colorful flutes, vibrant strings, and extensive solo and chorus reed stops. The project included the design and construction of rich walnut casework around the expansive choir seating area to enhance sound projection. Foundation tone is abundant, with enough 8‘ sound to lead a large congre- gation in song. Upon this base the ensemble builds seamlessly through the complete divisions to full organ. The instrument projects effortlessly in the vast sanctuary, offering the organist a wealth of both solo and accompani- mental sounds, ultimately crowned with a high-pressure Solo Tuba and a brilliant Trompette en Chamade.

Reuter Organ Co., Opus 2235, 2010, 4 manuals, 90 ranks
Christ United Methodist Church, Plano, Texas


16’ Violone
8’ Diapason
8’ Violone
8’ Harmonic Flute
8’ Bourdon
8’ Major Diapason (So)
4’ Octave
4’ Koppelflute
2-2/3’ Twelfth
2’ Fifteenth
1-3/5’ Seventeenth
III Cornet*
III-V Mixture
III Sharp Mixture
16’ Double Trumpet
8’ Trumpet
8’ French Horn (So)
8’ Clarinet (So )
4’ Clarion
8’ Tuba (So)
8’ Trompette en Chamade
Chimes (Ch)
Solo Tremulant
16’ Lieblich Gedeckt
8’ Geigen
8’ Rohrflute
8’ Viola da Gamba
8’ Voix Celeste (CC)
8’ Flute Dolce
8’ Flute Celeste
4’ Spitz Principal
4’ Spire Flute
4’ Lieblich Gedeckt
2-2/3’ Nazard
2’ Doublette
2’ Piccolo
1-3/5’ Tierce
IV-V Plein Jeu
16’ Bombarde
8’ Trumpet
8’ Oboe
8’ Vox Humana
4’ Clarion
8’ Harp (Ch)
8’ Trompette en Chamade (Gt)
16’ Salicional
8’ Principal
8’ Open Flute*
8’ Gedeckt
8’ Salicional
8’ Voix Celeste (GG)
8’ Dulciana
8’ Celeste (GG)
4’ Octave
4’ Harmonic Flute
2-2/3’ Quint
2’ Super Octave
1-3/5’ Terz
1-1/3’ Larigot
1-1/7’ Septieme
III-IV Mixture
16’ Fagotto
8’ Fagotto
8’ Cromorne
8’ English Horn (So)
8’ Harp
4’ Celesta
8’ Tuba (So)
16’ Trompette en Chamade (Gt, tc)
8’ Trompette en Chamade (Gt)
16’ Salicional (Ch)
8’ Major Diapason
8’ Doppel Flute
8’ Cello
8’ Cello Celeste (CC)
4’ Major Octave
V Grand Cornet*
16’ Tuba (tc)
8’ Tuba
8’ Clarinet
8’ English Horn
8’ French Horn
8’ Fagotto (Ch)
Chimes (Ch)
8’ Harp (Ch)
4’ Celesta (Ch)
16’ Trompette en Chamade (Gt, tc)
8’ Trompette en Chamade (Gt)
32’ Violone
32’ Bourdon
16’ Open Wood
16’ Principal
16’ Subbass
16’ Violone (Gt)
16’ Salicional (Ch)
16’ Lieblich Gedeckt (Sw)
10-2/3’ Quint
8’ Octave
8’ Bass Flute
8’ Violone (Gt)
8’ Open Flute (Ch)
8’ Salicional (Ch)
8’ Gedeckt (Sw)
4’ Choral Bass
4’ Flute
IV Mixture*
32’ Posaune
32’ Fagotto
16’ Posaune
16’ Double Trumpet (Gt)
16’ Bombarde (Sw)
16’ Fagotto (Ch)
8’ Posaune
8’ Bombarde (Sw)
8’ Clarinet (So)
8’ Fagotto (Ch)
4’ Clarion Bartique
4’ Clarinet (So)
8’ Tuba (So)
8’ Trompette en Chamade (Gt)
*console preparation

Organo Plano: Music for a Joyous Occasion<BR>Scott Montgomery Plays the 90-rank Reuter 4m organ<BR>Christ United Methodist Church, Plano, Texas
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