Jaak Nikolaas Lemmens 1823-1881: Fanfare
Gerald Near 1942- : Slowly, expressively from A Tryptich of Fugues (1968)
Johann Christian Kittel 1732-1809: Praeludium (Fantasia) in D Major
Johann Ludwig Krebs 1713-1780: Trio in F Major
Johann Ludwig Krebs 1713-1780: Ach, Gott, erhör mein Seufzen (O God, hear my sighing)
Johann Peter Kellner1705-1772: Was Gott tut daß ist wohlgetan (What God ordains is always good)
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach 1714-1788: Sonata VI in G minor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791: Adagio and Allegro, K. 594
Louis-Claude Balbastre 1727-1799: Noël: Où s’en vont ces gais bergers (Whence come these merry shepherds?)
Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750: Concerto in A minor, BWV 593, after Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741
Rayner Brown 1912-1999: Ten Chorales (1965)
1. Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her (From heav’n above to earth I come)
2. Jesu, meine Freude (Jesus, priceless treasure)
3. Der Tag, der ist so Freudenreich (O hail this brightest day of days)
4. Christum wir sollen loben schon (We now must praise Christ)
5. Wir Christenleut’ (We Christian folk)
6. Puer natus in Bethlehem (A boy is born in Bethlehem)
7. Das neugeborne Kindelein (The newborn child)
8. Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich (Let all together praise our God)
9. In dulci jubilo (Good Christian friends, rejoice)
10. Ich steh’ an deiner Krippe hier (I stand beside thy cradle here)
Program Notes by John Brock
About the Title
While recording this album at Second Presbyterian Church, I encountered a banner there that read, “Second Life.” Second Presbyterian’s building and organ had been completed in early 2007, replacing similar facilities destroyed in a fire in 2003. The banner may have referred to activities taking place at the church, but it also could have referred to the renewal of life that the church was experiencing after rebuilding. Either way, it seemed appropriate to call this album “Second Wind,” implying both the renewed musical energy at Second Church and the fact that the Juget-Sinclair organ is the second wind-blown instrument to be located there.
The artisans of Juget-Sinclair Organbuilders, led by Denis Juget and Stephen Sinclair, have created a beautiful jewel of an organ for the new space – not large, but versatile and well balanced to the acoustical properties of the room. It’s an organ of solid craftsmanship, a “second wind” that should keep the congregation singing for many decades to come.
About the Music
Repertoire for part of this program has been selected from what organists often think of as the period “nach Bach” (i.e., after Bach). For several generations after the death of J. S. Bach in 1750, the organ suffered from a crisis of non-popularity among leading composers, who were focusing their primary attention on newer musical media like the symphony, the string quartet, and the fortepiano. But Bach left a legacy of students and admirers, many of them lesser-known figures, who continued to write for the instrument. It is works by some of these composers, supplemented with one by Mozart, that have been chosen to illustrate the sounds of this era. A work by Bach himself, two mid-20th century American works, and one selection from the 19th century round out the program.
Johann Christian Kittel, Johann Ludwig Krebs, and Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach were all students of J. S. Bach; Johann Peter Kellner was acquainted with Bach and was important in disseminating the latter’s compositions. Their music shows definite influences from the great master, but they all gravitate toward the newer rococo style, characterized by simpler harmonic structure, a less contrapuntal approach, and more emphasis on melody.
Kittel’s Praeludium in D Major comes from his collection of Sixteen Preludes in all the keys, from C Major through G Major, no doubt inspired by Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier but evidently left unfinished. Although all of the preludes are of modest length, they comprise a significant collection of pieces in a musical style not commonly associated with the organ.
Krebs was, according to his teacher, “the best crab (Krebs) in the brook (Bach).” His organ works include large preludes and fugues modeled after those of Bach, some trios and miscellaneous pieces, and a number of chorale preludes. His chorale prelude on “Ach Gott, erhör mein Seufzen” (O God, hear my sighing) is notable for its sighing motives, the use of chromaticism to depict sorrow (a baroque concept), and the frequent occurrence of the then-novel sonority of the augmented sixth chord.
Kellner’s cheerful setting of the chorale “What God Ordains Is Always Good,” with the surprise triplets near the end, is based on a ritornello that reappears between each chorale phrase.
The six organ sonatas of C. P. E. Bach (J. S. Bach’s second son) are major works from this era. Written during the composer’s Berlin period (1754-59), they were commissioned by Princess Amalie of Prussia, a sister of Frederick the Great, who was apparently a talented keyboard player but was not able to play the organ pedals. As a result, the pieces are written without a pedal part. In spite of this they are substantial works that demonstrate the composer’s affinity for Sturm und Drang (storm and stress), accomplished primarily through contrasting forte and piano registrations and dramatic pauses. The first and third movements of Sonata VI are cast in sonata-allegro form, another of the important musical developments in the rococo period.
Although Mozart evidently played the organ quite well and even earned his living as an organist for a time, his compositional output for the instrument is rather limited, as there was not much need for composed organ pieces in the Austrian church services. But, Mozart was commissioned by Count Josef Deym to write three pieces for automatic player organs that provided music for his art museum in Vienna. One of these, the Andante, K. 616, was written for a small flute clock. The other two, the Adagio and Allegro heard here, and its companion piece, the Fantasia, K. 608, were evidently written for a somewhat larger instrument with several stops, with an effect not unlike a modest church organ. Nowadays these pieces are arranged so as to be playable with two hands and two feet, resulting in outstanding additions to the organ’s repertoire from the late 18th century.
French composer Louis-Claude Balbastre’s Noëls seem to share a certain similarity of style with the music of Viennese masters. Noëls (variations on Christmas carols) were extremely popular at Christmas Eve services in French churches owing to their lighthearted and uncomplicated nature and the fact that the melodies on which they were based were quite familiar. This piece makes use of the organ’s reed stops and the Cornet (a combination of flute stops at 8’, 4’, 2’, 2’, and 1’ pitches).
J. S. Bach made five arrangements of orchestral concerti for the organ, four from the works of Vivaldi and one from one of his employers, Duke Johann Ernst. Vivaldi’s Concerto in A Minor was originally scored for two solo violins and orchestra, but Bach’s masterful arrangement makes the piece seem like an original organ work. Bach recreates the contrasting tutti and solo effects of the original concerto through the use of dialogues between the two manuals of the organ.
California composer Rayner Brown was a church organist for 45 years and a member of the faculty at Biola University in Los Angeles for 30 years. His extensive catalog of works for all musical media includes well over two hundred pieces for the organ. The Ten Chorales are delightful miniatures – imaginative settings, or in some cases what we might call “impressions,” of traditional Lutheran chorales associated with the Christmas season. The pieces were dedicated to various friends of his.
Gerald Near’s A Tryptich of Fugues is a three-movement work composed of fugues in contrasting moods. The slow, expressive second movement is somewhat unusual for a fugue, since fugues are most often more lively, and because it makes excellent use of the organ’s string stops. Near, one of America’s leading composers of organ and choral music for the church, resides in New Mexico.
Belgian organist Jaak Nikolaas (or Jacques Nicolas) Lemmens is best known for his Ecole d’Orgue (Organ Method, 1862), in which he published for the first time techniques underlying the modern legato approach to organ playing. The Fanfare, arguably his most well known composition, was included in that publication. It is a lively, full-organ toccata, marked staccato throughout, that has been a favorite of organ students ever since.
John Brock is Professor of Music at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he teaches organ and harpsichord. Since joining the Tennessee faculty in 1967 he has developed a wide reputation as an outstanding organ teacher and performer. He has presented concerts and workshops for conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, and the Organ Historical Society, as well as for chapters of the American Guild of Organists, churches, colleges, and universities. He has also performed on historic and modern organs in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and France.
John Brock is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where he was an organ student of Warren Hutton. His interest in performance practice styles led to his authorship of an organ method, Introduction to Organ Playing in 17th and 18th Century Style (Wayne Leupold Editions), now in its second edition. His recordings include two volumes of A Tennessee Organ Tour (Raven Recordings), on which he performs on several interesting mechanical action organs in Tennessee, and the complete organ works of Hugo Distler (Calcante Recordings, Ltd.).
Assistant Organist at Church of the Ascension, Knoxville, John Brock performs frequently on the harpsichord as both soloist and chamber musician. He also serves as a pipe organ consultant for churches and is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, and the Music Teachers National Association, and a past-President of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society.
Fire destroyed the previous building and pipe organ of Second Presbyterian Church in 2003 and construction of a new church building for the 450-member congregation began in April, 2005, retaining some of the exterior architectural characteristics of the destroyed structure, which dated to the 1940s. The new building is the fourth for this congregation, which was founded in 1843, and is on the same site as the destroyed building.
The new organ of 27 ranks was built by Juget-Sinclair Organbuilders of Montréal and replaces the destroyed 13-rank pipe organ that was built by the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio, in 1982. Juget-Sinclair is a small team dedicated to producing the highest quality mechanical action organs available. The instrument for Second Presbyterian Church, Nashville, is their opus 26. The firm has built new instruments in Canada, the United States, Japan, and Germany since 1994 as well as restoring historic nineteenth-century pipe organs.
The goals of Second Presbyterian Church were to have an organ optimized for leading hymn singing and choral accompaniment, but also for playing a wide range of organ repertoire such as might be heard in preludes, postludes, and during worship services including weddings and funerals, as well as occasional organ concerts. Choices of organ sounds, voicing, mechanism, winding, placement, size, and budget all influenced the decisions made by committees of the church, consultants, and the organbuilders.
Juget-Sinclair organ, op. 26, 2007, Second Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee
8' Montre (75% tin)
8' Flûte à cheminée (lead)
4' Prestant (50% tin)
4' Flûte conique (lead)
2' Doublette (75% tin)
IV Fourniture 1’ (75% tin)
8' Trompette (50% tin)
8' Bourdon (lead)
8' Viole de gambe (75% tin)
8' Voix céleste (75% tin)
4' Principal (50% tin)
4' Flûte douce (cherry)
2-2/3' Nazard (lead)
2' Flûte (lead)
1-3/5' Tierce (lead)
IV Plein jeu 2’ (50% tin)
8' Hautbois (50% tin)
16' Soubasse (pine)
8' Flûte ouverte (oak, treble 50% tin)
4' Octave (50% tin)
16' Trombone (pine)
Couplers: II/I - I