Writes Chris Bragg in Choir & Organ, May/June, 2016:
". . . the organ is good, the player brilliant and the recording and booklet, as usual from Raven, excellent."
Patrick A. Scott Plays the Kennedy Center Organ, Rebuilt in Its New Home
Patrick A. Scott, winner of the 2014 AGO Improvisation Competition,
plays the new organ built by Parkey OrganBuilders of Duluth, Georgia,
for Providence United Methodist Church, Charlotte, NC, using most of the
pipes, console shell, keys, and some other parts of Aeolian-Skinner Op.
1472 (1965-71) removed from the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, creating
an instrument of 64 ranks in four manual divisions and pedal.
John Weaver: Toccata
Dietrich Buxtehude: Praeludium in D
Robert Hebble: Festival Piece on "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"
Dan Locklair: Swing Low
Max Reger: Toccata & Fugue in d, op. 59
William Walton: Crown Imperial
Paul Halley: Outer Hebrides
Henri Mulet: Tu es Petra"
Patrick A. Scott: Improvisations on "Rustington," "Nicaea," and "The Ash Grove"
by Michael Morris
Some of the works on this recording are well-known and well-loved favorites. Some are interesting newer works that seem to have the spark to make them equally satisfying to present and future audiences. Finally, some of the performances here are improvisations.
Toccata by John Weaver
A leading American organist and organ teacher, John Weaver (b. 1937) served simultaneously as Head of the Organ Department at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Chair of the Organ Department at The Juilliard School, and Director of Music at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. Although his catalog of published pieces is known more for its quality than its size, this toccata shows his perfect understanding and mastery of the instrument. Composed in 1968, it has remained popular for almost five decades. The driving rhythmic vitality combined with the fast- moving pedal runs makes this a wonderfully festive fanfare piece.
Praeludium in D by Dietrich Buxtehude
Buxtehude (ca. 1637-1707) was perhaps the best-known church musician of his generation in Germany. Both Handel and Bach made pilgrimages to see and hear him in L<@252>beck. Handel left rather quickly after being offered the hand of Buxtehudes eldest daughter, but Bach remained for three months, learning what he could from the older organist.
Firmly in the style of the mid-Baroque, the Praeludium is a multi-sectional piece, opening in the manner of a toccata with fugal and contrasting faster and slower sections following. It is easy to hear within this work the genesis of the High Baroque Prelude and Fugue taken to its apex by J. S. Bach, and it is easy to hear in the music of Bach the high regard and respect he had for his older mentor.
Festival Piece on "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" by Robert Hebble
A graduate of The Juilliard School and Yale University, Robert Hebble (b. 1934) studied composition with Roger Sessions and Nadia Boulanger. At the age of 16, Virgil Fox appointed him as his assistant at Riverside Church in New York. It was the beginning of a long, outstanding career in American church music. He has written extensively for choir and for organ, and his works display virtuosity without sacrificing musical interest. As a result, his works have found a solid place in the concert and service repertoire of American organists.
The text of A Mighty Fortress is solidly attributed to Martin Luther. The tune, known as Ein feste Burg, is generally thought to be his as well, though there has been some doubt. It has an unquestionable place in the canon of Reformation hymnody and remains much loved to the present day. In Robert Hebbles treatment, the tune remains a bulwark never failing, ending with a triumphant exposition of the melody.
Improvisation on Nicaea by Patrick Scott
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! . . . All Thy works shall praise Thy Name in Earth and sky and sea.
Beginning with a reverent hush, the tune soon soars on a solo principal. A toccata-like section in the middle brings in the final confident assertion of the hymn tune, ending with flourishes on the reeds and the sound of full organ.
Swing Low from A Spiritual Pair by Dan Locklair
The prolific and talented Dan Locklair (rarely photographed without his ubiquitous pipe) is a native of North Carolina and is Professor of Music and Composer-in-Residence at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1996, Locklair (b. 1949) was named Composer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists an award reserved for composers who have made significant contributions to organ and symphonic repertoire.
A Spiritual Pair (1994) is dedicated to Marilyn Keiser, who premiered the work in New Orleans. Based on the well-known spiritual Swing Low, this movement in the form of a chaconne transforms the musical material to create a contemplative piece reflecting on the longing expressed in the original spiritual.
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, op. 59 by Max Reger
Max Reger (1873-1916) was a prominent German musician at the early 20th century. He was a prodigious composer and gave concerts as an organist, a chamber pianist, an accompanist, and a conductor (among his students was the young George Szell). He died in 1916 from a heart attack at the age of 43. In the 21st century he is less well known; a handful of the orchestral works are performed as are a few more of his lieder and organ pieces. He was highly intrigued by fugal forms and considered himself firmly in the tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.
The Toccata and Fugue in D Minor shows that his perception was not amiss; his romanticism seems the next logical step in progression after Brahms, building on the framework without destroying it. Reger also has some renown amongst musicians for what was surely the best response ever to a critic when he wrote to Rudolf Louis: Ich sitze im kleinsten Raum des Hauses und habe Ihre Kritik vor mir. Bald werde ich sie hinter mir haben. (I am sitting in the smallest room of the house, and I have your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me.)
Improvisation on The Ash Grove by Patrick Scott
Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving
To God the Creator triumphantly raise . . .
This Welsh folk tune (wedded to a sorrowful folk text from which it takes its name, in Welsh, Llwyn Onn) is used as the melody for a number of hymns, all of which seem to recognize and exploit the innate cheerfulness of the melody. At times pastoral, at times dance-like, this improvisation in particular exploits many of the flutes and color reeds on the organ.
Crown Imperial by William Walton
Empress of townes, exalt in honour;
In beawtie beryng the crone imperiall;
Swete paradise precelling in pleasure;
London, thou are the flour of Cities all.
From these lines of William Dunbars poem In Honour of the City of London, William Walton (1902-1983) took the title of his first coronation march, Crown Imperial. Originally composed for the cancelled coronation of Edward VIII, it was heard at the coronation of his brother George VI. Critics at the time were not impressed; Walton's previous work had been considered avantgarde and this piece with its clear Elgarian references seemed regressive to them. His patrons, however, seemed pleased with the work pleased enough to commission his Orb and Sceptre march for the coronation of Elizabeth II. Crown Imperial has been heard at many royal events, including the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Written originally for orchestra, it was quickly heard on the organ and has become a staple of the organ transcription repertoire. It is now one of his best-known and most- loved works.
Outer Hebrides by Paul Halley
During his tenure as organist and choirmaster of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York 1977-1989, Paul Halley (b. 1952) worked extensively with the Paul Winter Consort, creating innovative and popular musical events. He has few peers in understanding the possibilities of the organ as an instrument of musical color. Outer Hebrides originated as an improvisation in the form of a fantasia, interweaving three traditional Celtic folk tunes. It evokes the rugged grandeur of the eponymous island archipelago, populated before the first written references to the islands by Greek and Roman authors. The islands reach an average summer temperature of only 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and fewer than 30,000 people live in an area of 1,190 square miles. Paul Halley captures the grandeur and isolation perfectly and elegantly.
Tu es Petra by Henri Mulet
The reclusive Henri Mulet (1878-1967) is one of the more enigmatic figures of French music. Although he lived for 88 years, his surviving music dates from a period of 15 years. In 1937, he burned most of his manuscripts. He studied organ with Guilmant, Widor, and Vierne, all of whom thought him a brilliant organist. He also earned the respect of Tournemire. He seems to have been a very religious, somewhat mystical and mysterious personality who had largely fallen into obscurity by the time of his death in 1967.
Tu es petra is the final movement of a suite of ten movements, Esquisses Byzantines, inspired by the Basilique du Sacré Cœur in Paris where his father had been the maítre de chapelle and his mother had played harmonium long before the magnificent edifice we now know had been completed. The work is based on Matthew 16:18, And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The interwoven motives, the use of minor tonalities, and the ending in glorious major paint a very programmatic aural picture of the battle between the church and the gates of hell with the church triumphant at the last.
Improvisation on Rustington by Patrick Scott
For the music of creation, for the song your Spirit sings,
For your sounds divine expression, burst of joy in living things . . .
The tune Rustington is a lesser-known work of C. H. H. Parry (1848-1918), and originally appeared in print in the Westminster Abbey Hymn Book in 1897, where it was a setting for Benjamin Webbs Praise the Rock of Our Salvation. It was named for the village in Sussex where Parry lived and died.
It is better known in the United States as the tune for Shirley Erena Murrays text, For the Music of Creation. Dr. Scotts improvisation opens with a grand flourish. The music of creation and the creation of music flow seamlessly, building to a stirring burst of joy.
Patrick A. Scott
Patrick A. Scott is Assistant Organist-Choirmaster at the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Philip, Atlanta. He received the first prize as well as the audience prize in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation held at the 2014 AGO National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, he was also awarded second prize in the Schoenstein Hymn Playing Competition. He has been the winner in numerous other regional and national competitions.
A native of Picayune, Mississippi, Patrick Scott holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from Birmingham-Southern College where he studied with James Cook. He earned the Master of Music in Organ Performance and Sacred Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance degrees from the University of Texas at Austin where he was a student of Judith and Gerre Hancock. His doctoral dissertation was on the organ works and musical influences of Gerre Hancock and was written under the supervision of Judith Hancock. His other major teachers have included Betty Polk, Kathy Vail, and Betty Breland.
An active recitalist and accompanist, Dr. Scott has appeared in concert throughout the United States, as well as in France, England, Ireland, and Scotland. He has presented recitals, workshops, hymn festivals, and masterclasses for chapters and conventions of the Ameican Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society.
As the recipient in 2009 of a grant from the Bedient Organ Company and the Florence Gould Foundation, he has studied and performed on historic instruments of the 18th and 19th centuries in France. Similarly, he studied the sacred choral music tradition in England at schools, churches, and cathedrals in London, Cambridge, Oxford, and Winchester via the University of Texas at Austins Maymester Study Abroad Program.
Prior to his appointment in Atlanta, Dr. Scott served Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; University Christian Church in Austin, Texas; and First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
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 is the culmination of a 10-year project for a new organ to replace a much too small and ailing pipe organ from the 1960s.
Many plans and discussions were considered by the church at the time we made a proposal to build a significant instrument using many core resources from Aeolian- Skinner organ originally located in the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, and removed in 2012.
A proposal was given for an organ of 64 ranks complete with new electropneumatic slider windchests and winding systems, new solid state switching systems and preserving the shell, keyboards, and some other components of the Aeolian-Skinner console for installation in Charlotte. New twin cases housing the 16 Principal and 16 Violon were designed and built by our firm for the sanctuary.
Scaling, which typically ran small for most builders in the 1960s, 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 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 and 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 may different styles of music. Patrick Scott gives us a wonderful tour through the resources of the organ in the works and his improvisations on the CD. We hope that you will enjoy Patrick Scotts masterful performance on our Opus 14. He is a wonderful artist and it was a joy to work with him in this project.
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
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
8 Swell, Choir Thumb
6 Great Thumb
4 Solo Thumb
8 Pedal Toe
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