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American Impressions, David Pickering, Organist
Organ Music by Purvis, Sowerby, Gawthrop, Lloyd
Quimby Organ - [OAR-158]
$15.98

David Pickering plays first recordings of recent music by American composers Daniel E. Gawthrop and S. Andrew Lloyd, and works by Sowerby and Purvis on the 57-rank Quimby organ, Op. 61 of 2005, at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church, Richardson, Texas.

* First Recording

Daniel E. Gawthrop: Three Floral Preludes *:
Leucanthemum Vulgare
Zehenspitzen Durch die Tulpen
La Rose Jaune

Daniel E. Gawthrop: Symphony No. 3 *
Intrada · Capriccio · Largo · Finale

S. Andrew Lloyd: Herzlich tut mich verlangen *

Richard Purvis: Greensleeves

Richard Purvis: Gwalshmai *

Leo Sowerby: Comes Autumn Time

Leo Sowerby: Fantasy for Flute Stops

Leo Sowerby: Requiescat in Pace

American Impressions
by David Pickering


This diverse program was selected to introduce listeners to a broad range of organ music composed in the United States from 1916-2016. The organ enjoyed unparalleled popularity in the United States during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Original organ music compositions during these early years were often written in a non-academic, populist style tradition. Many leading American musicians studied in France and Germany during the latter part of the nineteenth century through the twentieth century, bringing their respective European influences with them, but organ music was heard in both the concert and secular arenas as organists played transcriptions of well-­known orchestral music on one hand and silent film accompaniments on the other. Orientation of American organ music shifted after World War II to a more academic style rooted in cerebrally inspired European music. These musical selections were also chosen to showcase the broad tonal sonorities of the Quimby organ at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church, whose orientation is ideally suited for this music.

Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and began composing at age ten and was known as the “Dean of American Church Music” during his lengthy tenure at St. James Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois (1927-62). Sowerby wrote over 500 works during the course of his career in every musical genre except opera and ballet.

Comes Autumn Time (1916) was composed in one day for organ solo; Sowerby orchestrated it as a concert overture the following year.  This work, one of Sowerby’s best known, was inspired by the poem Autumn by Canadian poet Bliss Carman.

Requiescat in Pace (a Latin phrase meaning “rest in peace” and abbreviated RIP), was composed in 1920 as a tribute to his friends killed during World War I. Sowerby gave the work’s first performance at Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church at a commemorative Armistice Day service. The piece is written in highly chromatic musical language that climaxes on crashing dissonances utilizing the organ’s full resources.  The tension and harmonic anguish gradually melt away into the composition’s final rich harmonies.

Fantasy for Flute Stops, an impressionistic work inspired by a watercolor painting by artist Rainey Bennett, was composed in 1935 as part of Sowerby’s larger Suite for Organ. The first and final sections of this work contrast the beauty between two flute stops on two different manuals.  The final chord utilizing the organ’s string and celeste stops brings the work to an unexpected conclusion.

Richard Purvis (1913-94) hailed from San Francisco, California, where he spent almost his entire life. He was Organist and Master of Choirs at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco 1947-71. His output contains more than 200 works, many of which are organ and choral works. The two Purvis works featured on this recording come from his collection Four Carol Preludes (1948) and were selected to feature Canyon Creek’s Quimby organ in its role as a service playing instrument.

Greensleeves is Purvis’s most popular organ work and is based on the famous tune known to many as “What Child Is This?”  He composed this work in a foxhole under enemy fire in the midst of his service in World War II. Purvis imbues this harmonically lush setting with a touch of jazz and features the French Horn, English Horn, and Chimes registers.

Gwalshmai, a hymn tune known to many by the text, “King of Glory, King of Peace,” was composed with a driving tempo and jaunty flair that explores the organ’s individual and more complete resources.

S. Andrew Lloyd (b. 1979) is rapidly gaining acclaim as a passionate and inspirational writer of organ and choral music. He currently is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Texas, San Antonio. His introspective setting of Herzlich tut mich verlangen was composed in honor and memory of Douglas E. Bush, (1947-­2013) longtime professor of music at Brigham Young University who passed away after a struggle with cancer. Lloyd played the work’s premiere performance September 14, 2014, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Lloyd was inspired by scriptural passages in John 4:14 and Exodus 17:6 as he composed this piece. Musically, Lloyd drew heavily from the French contemporary organ compositional styles of Maurice Duruflé and Marcel Dupré.

Daniel E. Gawthrop (b. 1949) This Ft. Wayne, Indiana, native is known for his many choral compositions that are sung by choirs across the United States. The recipient of more than one hundred commissions, his compositions have been premiered at venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Mormon Tabernacle, and Washington National Cathedral. He currently devotes his full-time work to composition and lives in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Of Three Floral Preludes Gawthrop writes, “Why floral preludes? Well, the organ world seems pretty well stocked with chorale preludes and all three of these are based on tunes which include a flower in their names: the Leucanthemum Vulgare is the common daisy, die Tulpen are tulips and la Rose is, well, a rose. Hence, three floral preludes. These are probably best suited for concert use and should elicit a few chuckles when the audience hears the familiar melody upon which each is based. An intrepid player with no fear for his job could probably get away with Tiptoe through the Tulips as a service prelude; it’s fairly subtle. A Bicycle Built for Two may fly as a postlude if your congregation is accustomed to ignoring you. But the toccata on The Yellow Rose of Texas is pretty blatant and therefore recommended only for your final Sunday after having given notice . . . though it would surely be your final Sunday with or without notice!”

Symphony No. 3: German organist Hartmut Siebmanns, Kantor at the Stadtkirche in Pößneck, Germany, commissioned this work in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Gawthrop based each of the symphony’s four movements upon a German Protestant hymn tune. The symphony portrays effectively Gawthrop’s well-­honed com­po­si­tion­al techniques, which are represented by majesty, humor, timelessness, and incessant drive.

The first movement, Intrada, opens majestically with bold, fanfare-­like chords. The composition’s formal elements are presented in rondo form, where the opening fanfare-like statement and chorale Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (Savior of the Nations, Come) alternate with a trumpet tune and a fugue exposition.
Gawthrop’s cheeky setting of the chorale Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying) recalls the influence of cowboy tunes and the music of Leroy Anderson in Capriccio, the symphony’s second movement. Largo, the following movement, evokes the sense of timelessness associated with the music of Maurice Duruflé. The opening measure of the chorale melody, Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee), and its subsequent variations, are featured on a solo flute stop. The chorale melody itself is harmonized lushly on the organ’s string and celeste stops.

The famous chorale melody Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God) is stated boldly and unequivocally in Finale, the symphony’s final movement. The incessant drive and throbbing rhythm reflect the hymn’s text, which states that God, our Bulwark and Helper, will never fail us.

David Pickering
Active recitalist, recording artist, scholar and author, David Pickering is Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Keyboard Division at Kansas State University. His career as a performer has carried him across the United States as well as to Austria, Canada, England, and Finland, appearing in such cities as Arlington (Texas), Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, London (England), New York City, Omaha, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, Vienna (Austria), Wash­ington, DC, and Wichita. His performances have also been broadcast nationally on American Public Radio’s Pipedreams, Iowa Public Radio, as well as Organlive.com.

Pickering’s multifaceted research has focused on the composers, music, organs, and pedagogues of the American organ scene in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His four solo recordings have focused on the organ music of American composers from the twentieth century to the present day. His scholarly works are published by the Organ Historical Society Press (The Auditorium Organ) and Wayne Leupold Editions (Arthur Poister—Master Teacher and Poet of the Organ and Leroy Robertson Organ Works), and articles and reviews appear in The American Organist and The Diapason. A proponent for new music, Pickering has premiered new works by Daniel E. Gawthrop and Tyler White.

Pickering completed his degrees from the University of Kansas and Brigham Young University in organ performance and musicology; he has also pursued technical studies with pianist Sheila Paige. His organ teachers include Parley Belnap, James Higdon, J.J. Keeler, and Arlene Small. Pickering and his wife, Melinda, are the parents of six children.

The Organ
Opus 61 built by Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc., of Warrensburg, Missouri, comprises 57 ranks of pipes and was completed in 2005. The tonal design, which is rooted in the romantic-symphonic tradition, incorporates five flue stops and three reed stops by Ernest M. Skinner, and a French Horn from an Aeolian organ. John L. Speller notes, “The versatility of the instrument for playing organ repertoire in a wide range of musical styles combines with the liveliness of the acoustics to produce the impression in the listener that the organ is much larger than it is. The effect is perhaps of an instrument of a hundred ranks or more, rather than of the 57 ranks that the Canyon Creek organ actually contains.” Most flue pipes speak on slider windchests with electro­pneumatic action of the Blackinton design. Reed pipes speak on individual-action electro­pneumatic windchests.

Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church, Richardson, Texas
Quimby Pipe Organs, Inc., Warrensburg, Missouri, Op. 61, 2005


GREAT unenlosed & *enclosed
16 Open Diapason* 1–7 Ped
8 Open Diapason
8 Harmonic Flute*
8 Stopped Diapason*
8 Violoncello
4 Octave
4 Spire Flute*
2-2/3 Twelfth
2 Fifteenth
1-3/5 Seventeenth
1-1/3 Mixture IV
16 Contra Oboe Sw
8 Trumpet*
4 Clarion*
8 Tuba Ch
8 Harmonic Trumpet Ch
Flute Tremolo
Chimes
MIDI on Great
Great 16 8 4
Swell to Great 16 8 4
Choir to Great 16 8 4

SWELL
enclosed
16 Contra Gamba
8 Diapason
8 Gamba ext
8 Gamba Celeste
8 Chimney Flute
8 Flauto Dolce †
8 Flute Celeste † TC
4 Octave
4 Nachthorn
2-2/3 Nazard
2 Flageolet
1-3/5 Tierce
2 Mixture IV–V
16 Contra Oboe
8 Trompette
8 Oboe ext
8 Vox Humana †
4 Clarion
Tremolo
8 Harmonic Trumpet Ch
MIDI on Swell
Swell 16 8 4
Choir to Swell 8

CHOIR
enclosed
16 Erzähler
8 Geigen Diapason
8 Flauto Traverso †
8 Erzähler ext
8 Erzähler Celeste TC
4 Geigen Octave
4 Harmonic Flute †
2 Harmonic Piccolo †
1-1/3 Mixture III–IV
16 Bass Clarinet
8 Tuba
8 Harmonic Trumpet
8 Clarinet † ext
8 English Horn †
8 French Horn ††
Tremolo
MIDI on Choir
Choir 16 8 4
Swell to Choir 16 8 4
Great to Choir  8

PEDAL
unenclosed
32 Contra Bourdon 1–5 & 7 resultant
16 Open Diapason
16 Bourdon ext
16 Contra Gamba Sw
16 Erzhler Ch
8 Octave ext
8 Bourdon ext
8 Gamba Sw
8 Erzähler Ch
4 Choral Bass
4 Night Horn
32 Contra Trombone
16 Trombone ext
16 Contra Oboe Sw
16 Bass Clarinet Ch
8 Trombone ext
8 Oboe Sw
4 Oboe Sw
4 Clarinet Ch
Great to Pedal 8 4
Swell to Pedal 8 4
Choir to Pedal 8 4
MIDI on Pedal

COMBINATION ACTION
Peterson MSP 1000, 99 memory levels
10 pistons for each division
18 General pistons with duplicate toe studs + 16 Generals toe studs only
Registration Sequencer: Next, Previous Pistons
Programmable Crescendo Pedal
Manual Transfer
All Swells to Swell
Event Sequencer
WIND PRESSURES
Great: flues 5"; reeds 7-1/2"
Swell & Choir: flues 5"; reeds 6"
Tuba, Harmonic Trumpet, French Horn: 15"
Pedal: flues 4", 5", & 6"; Trombone 15"

† from E. M. Skinner organ, Op. 427, 1923
†† from Aeolian organ, Op. 1764, 1930

American Impressions, David Pickering, Organist<BR>Organ Music by Purvis, Sowerby, Gawthrop, Lloyd<BR>Quimby Organ
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