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Éclat Encore: Thomas Baugh, organist
Max Reger · Gerre Hancock · Earl Wild · Franck · Grigny · Mendelssohn · Orlando Gibbons
2004 Fisk Op. 124 - [OAR-963]

Thomas Baugh plays Fisk Op. 124 at Christ Episcopal Church, Roanoke, Virginia.

Felix Mendelssohn: Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, Op. 37, No. 1
Orlando Gibbons: Fantasia No. 10 in A Minor
Nicolas de Grigny: Ave maris stella
César Franck: Prélude, fugue et variation, Op. 18
Earl Wild: Embraceable You (No. 4 from Seven Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin Songs)
Gerre Hancock: A Meditation on Draw us in the Spirit’s Tether
Max Reger: Fantasia on Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme, Op. 52, No. 2

The Music
by Thomas Baugh

Felix Mendelssohn's Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 37, composed in 1837, reflected his success as an organist in England. The Fugue of this work is based on a subject Mendelssohn sketched in his diary as the theme used for his improvisation in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, on Sunday, 7 July 1833.

Orlando Gibbons
entered the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, in 1596 at age 13, was organist of the Chapel Royal from 1604, and took the Mus. B from Cambridge University in 1606. His keyboard fantasias show the same noble quality and subtlety of rhythm and counterpoint as his church music and madrigals.

Nicolas De Grigny came from a family of musicians in Reims and studied with Nicolas Lebègue in Laon. Around 1683 he became organist of the Basilica of St. Denis in Paris. Two years later he returned to his hometown as organist of the Cathedral. His sole musical work is his Premier Livre d’orgue contenant une messe et les hymnes des principals festes de l’année. J. S. Bach held this work in such esteem as to have copied it entirely to a tunebook in his library. De Grigny’s place in French organ music is unique for its combination of delicious melodic writing with dazzling contrapuntal invention. The chant, Ave maris stella (Hail, star of the ocean), is of unknown origin but can be dated back to the Ninth Century. It is used today at Vespers on Feasts of the Virgin Mary.

César Franck dedicated his Prelude, Fugue, and Variation to his friend Camille Saint-Saëns, and first played it at Ste. Clothilde, Paris, in 1864. He published it as one of the Six Pièces in 1868. Harry Lyn Huff, Minister of Music at Old South Church in Boston, offers a wonderfully evocative story line for this work: on a beautiful sunny day, a traveller is strolling along the Left Bank of the Seine toward the Eiffel Tower, whistling a sweet melody. Suddenly, the sky darkens, distant thunder is heard and raindrops begin to fall. He finds himself conveniently in front of the Basilica of Ste. Clothilde and ducks in to wait out the brief summer storm. A weekday Mass is going on; Franck is improvising a fugue; the massive sound of the Cavaillé-Coll organ echoes through the cavernous space. As the Mass ends, our traveller goes back outside to find that the sun has reappeared. He sees a stand of free bicycles nearby, so he hops on one and heads across the Pont Neuf. Cycling happily towards the Bastille on the Rive Droite, our traveller goes his way whistling the same sweet tune, this time with the bicycle wheels providing perpetuum mobile accompaniment.

Earl Wild, whose 90th birthday recital in 2005 at Carnegie Hall the writer heard from the front row, sitting at Wild’s feet, was a pianist-composer in the grand tradition of Liszt and Rachmaninoff. His Etudes on Gershwin Songs date originally from the 1950s. The present work on “Embraceable You” sounds well on a cascade of glowing flûtes harmoniques.

Among Gerre Hancock’s countless concert appearances over longer than than 30 years was a recital at Christ Church, Roanoke, in 2007, in celebration of Tom Baugh’s 20th anniversary as Director of Music. At that occasion, Dr. Hancock improvised an unforgettable Symphony on themes dear to Christ Church parishioners. This work, composed in 1998 on “Draw us in the Spirit’s tether,” an anthem by Harold Friedell (1905-1958), sounds very much like a Hancockian service prelude at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, where he was Organist and Master of the Choristers 1971-2004.

Composed in a whirlwind two days in 1901, Max Reger’s fantasia on “Sleepers, wake!” presents, following a somber introduction and gossamer first appearance of the chorale, an irresistible gathering of light and momentum as more and more sound is added. A noble adagio ushers in a fugue, in which the chorale appears in contrapuntal peroration successively in the bass, tenor, and soprano voices, leading to a stupendous conclusion. A fond remembrance of the writer’s friend, the late Dr. Robert W. Parris (1952-2011), is evoked by this performance.

The Organist
Thomas Baugh is Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Virginia, a position he has held since 1986. There he directs several choirs of young people and adults, instrumentalists and Flemish bell ringers. Other musical activities he has directed there include concerts with orchestra and an annual Summer Festival of Organ Music, following the arrival of the C. B. Fisk organ in 2004. Previously, Tom served parishes in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma (B.A.), and Westminster Choir College (M.M., with distinction). He studied organ with John Mueller, Bruce Stevens, Gerre Hancock, and in Lyon, France, with Louis Robilliard.

The Organ
Reed, Flute, and String stops of the organ at Christ Episcopal Church, Roanoke, Virginia, speak with the polished symphonic voices of French organs built in the 19th century, though the Trompette stop of the Great organ reaches back to 18th-century France for its gravity and brilliance. The foundation of the Christ Church organ – its chorus of principal stops speak with the characteristic and unique voice of the pipe organ and imitate no other instrument – sounds much like fine classical examples in Germany and Holland. Germanic examples inspire a few other stops: the 8' Spillpfeife and 4' Offenflöte of the Great organ, as well as the 16' reed in the Swell, the Dulcian. The powerful 16' Posaune (another reed) in the Pedal enables characteristic Germanic registrations and undergirds spirited hymn singing. Added to the Pedal division of the organ in August, 2009 is the 16' Contrebasse comprising a set of 30 wooden pipes – the largest in the organ. The stop was originally planned and partially prepared when the organ was built and installed in 2004 by C. B. Fisk, Inc., of Gloucester, Massachusetts, as the firm’s Opus 124. Based on French examples, it provides a clean, strong, and quickly speaking tone reminiscent of the orchestra’s string double bass.

C. B. Fisk, Inc., Gloucester, Massachusetts, Opus 124
Dedicated November 2004
Christ Episcopal Church, Roanoke, Virginia

Great (Manual I)
Prestant 16'
Octave 8'
Violoncelle 8'
Spillpfeife 8'
Flûte harmonique 8'
Octave 4'
Offenflöte 4'
Superoctave 2'
Grand Cornet V (c1-f3)
Mixture IV-VI
Trompette 8'

Swell (Manual II)
Diapason 8'
Viole de gambe 8'
Voix céleste 8' (c0)
Flûte traversière 8'
Principal 4'
Flûte octaviante 4'
Nazard 2-2/3'
Octavin 2'
Tierce 1-3/5'
Plein jeu IV
Dulcian 16'
Trompette 8'
Basson-et-hautbois 8'

Contrebasse 16' (added in 2009)
Prestant 16' (Great)
Bourdon 16'
Octave 8' (Great)
Violoncelle 8' (Great)
Spillpfeife 8' (Great)
Octave 4' (Great)
Posaune 16'
Trompette 8' (Great)

Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Swell Super to Pedal

Wind: Stable, Flexible, Tremulant
Manual compass: CC-a3, 58 notes
Pedal compass: CC-f0, 30 notes
Key Action: Mechanical (Tracker)
Stop Action: Mechanical
Temperament: Fisk II

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