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Paris Impact: Organ Suites, Stephen Price, Goulding & Wood organ, Ball State University - [OAR-168] $15.98

Stephen Price, organ teaching professor at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, plays the 63-rank concert hall organ built there by Goulding & Wood. This first CD of the organ features composers and an organist who worked and studied in France.

Pierre DuMage1674-1751: Suite du premier ton (1708)
Jehan Alain 1911-1940: Suite pour orgue (1934-36)
Ned Rorem 1923-  : Views from the Oldest House (1981)

Notes from Stephen Price
I have chosen music to demonstrate the tonal palette of the Goulding & Wood organ, Op. 45, in Sursa Hall at Ball State University. Having served on the faculty beginning in 2018, it has been a joy exploring the instrument. I constantly discover the variety of tonal colors available, ranging from the French Classical, French Romantic, as well as Germanic characteristics, to 20th-century schools of organ playing. The theme, Paris Impact Organ Suites, centers around works by Pierre DuMage, Jehan Alain, and Ned Rorem, all of whom studied composition in Paris. The pieces featured represent the impact of their formal education on their compositional output.

Pierre DuMage (1674-1751) is a composer of the French classical organ school (French Baroque period) who studied in Paris with Louis Marchand, organist at the Chapelle Royale of Versailles. DuMage also was associated with a prominent composer, Nicolas Lebègue (teacher of Nicholas De Gringy), who helped him secure a position at Saint-Quentin collegiate church in Aisne, northwest of Paris. His studies with Marchand, who is known for composing five livres d’orgue (organ books), influenced DuMage’s Suite du premier ton (1708), dedicated to the chapter of Saint Quentin, and pays homage to Marchand in the preface.1 The Suite is not based on chant correlating to a liturgical function, as was common in this period’s organ works. Still, the individual titles adhere to the period’s performance practice related to the registration appropriate for each movement. According to Crivellaro, “The organ at Saint-­Quentin was rebuilt by Robert Clicquot between 1695 and 1703 under the supervision of Lebègue, Nivers, and François Couperin.”2 A second suite was dedicated to the post DuMage accepted at Laon Cathedral in 1712 (south of Saint-Quentin), but the work has never been found.

Jehan Alain (1911-1940) is a composer of the twentieth-century French organ school who came from a musical family. His father, Albert Alain, was an organ­ist and compos­er; his brother, Oliv­ier Alain, was a pian­ist and compos­er; and his sister, Marie-­Claire Alain, was a legendary con­cert organist and teacher who recorded all of her brother’s organ works and the complete organ works of J. S. Bach (three times). Jehan Alain studied organ with Marcel Dupré, composition with Paul Dukas and Roger-­Ducasse, and fugue with Georges Caussade. Other influences include Debussy, Messiaen, and music traditions from the far east. According to a compilation of Critical Notes by Marie-­Claire Alain, the Suite pour orgue (1934-36) won a prize in the composition competition sponsored by Amis de l’orgue in Paris.3 Albert Alain was involved in editorial adjustments between editions of the work. The Introduction et Variations (JA 69) and Chorale (JA 82) conceived for the organ can stand alone as individual pieces. According to Marie-Claire Alain, “the Scherzo (JA 70) was first com­posed for string ensemble and later adapted for the organ.“4

Ned Rorem
(b. 1923) was born in Richmond, Indiana, and repre­sents the twentieth-century Ameri­can school. Rorem studied with Margaret Bonds, the African-­Ameri­can female pianist and com­poser, in addition to Leo Sower­by, Bernard Wagenaar, Virgil Thomson, and Aaron Copeland. Shortly after WWII, Rorem received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Paris, where he encountered numerous composers who left a lasting impact on him. The suite Views from the Oldest House (1981) is based on the picturesque scenery of Nantucket island off the Massachusetts coast, one of several places of residence for Rorem. The dissertation on Rorem’s organ music by John David Marsh states, “Views from the Oldest House falls into this depictive category of program music and titles that inspired Rorem to compose.”5

“Sunrise on Sunset Hill“ describes morning on the hill where the oldest house has existed since its construction in 1686 as the home of Jethro Coffin. “Elms” references the trees that surround the house. “The Nest in Old North Church” represents a bird’s nest in a church seen from the house. “Spires” represents the church spire viewed in the distance.  “Rain Over the Quaker Graveyard” represents rain falling over a burial site next to the house. The final movement, “Sunday Night,” particularly shows the impact of Rorem’s Parisian adventures with its opening chords resembling the organ work Dieu parmi nous by Mes­siaen. The final movement, composed in the passacaglia form with a jazzy bassline, can be interpreted as a romping barn dance. Rorem chose the title in contrast to his orchestral work Sunday Morning composed in 1977.

The early recordings of Views from the Oldest House played by John Obetz and Catherine Crozier remain a great source of inspiration for this project. Commissioned for the 1982 AGO National Convention in Washington, DC, the work was premiered on July 1 by John Obetz playing the 1969 Rieger organ at All Souls Unitarian Church. Michael Barone recorded that performance and first broadcast it in 1984 on his Pipedreams radio program (available online in 2021 via a 1986 program no. 8602). Catherine Crozier recorded the work for the Delos label, released as DE3076 in January, 1989, playing the 1986 Marcussen organ at Witchita State University.            

1 Crivellaro, Paolo. Organ & Interpretation: the French École Classique, Blockwerk Editiones, 2020, p. 329.
2 Crivellaro, p. 330.
3Alain, Marie-Claire, Norma Stevlingson (translation). Critical Notes on the Organ Works of Jehan Alain, Leduc, 2003, pp. 26–39.
4Alain, pp. 26-39.
5 Marsh, John David. The organ works of Ned Rorem, 2002 Dissertation, Rice University, pp. 34-40. Rice Digital Scholarship Archive, 3047339.PDF

Stephen Price teaches organ, church music, and music theory at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, and is Director of Music at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Newcastle, Indiana. A native of Buffalo, New York, he began organ studies in high school and was appointed organ scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Buffalo, during his senior year. He attended Western Connecticut State University, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance. Subsequently, a Fulbright grant enabled study in Toulouse, France. At the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, he received the Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees under the tutelage of Dr. Janette Fishell. Teachers and mentors include Marguerite Robinson, Andrew Scanlon, Stephen Roberts, Vince Edwards, Michel Bouvard, Jan Willem Jansen, Bruce Neswick, Elisabeth Wright, and Dr. Wilma Jensen.

During his graduate studies, Dr. Price received awards in several international competitions, including the Franz Schmidt Organ Competition, the André Marchal Organ Competition, and the Canadian International Organ Competition.

Dr. Price is coordinator for the Sursa American Organ Competition, maintains an active membership in the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and has served as its Dean and in other administrative roles, and serves on the Organ Historical Society’s Membership Committee. He is represented by Seven Eight Artists.

The Sursa Family Concert Pipe Organ
The Sursa Family Concert Pipe Organ is a 50-stop organ with 63 ranks of pipes and a three-manual console in amphitheatre terraces as built in 2006 by Goulding & Wood of Indianapolis. The low profile of the movable console maintains an organist’s sight lines with a conductor and other musicians, facilitating performance with ensembles, orchestras, and choirs.

The organ is located in the 600-seat Sursa Performance Hall, named in honor of benefactors David and Mary Jane Sursa. Sursa Hall is the cornerstone of Ball State University’s Music Instruction Building and serves the community as a concert, rehearsal, and recording hall. It includes a recording control room on the building’s second floor and a recording booth at the back of the hall. Musicians  record concerts digitally, broadcast live to Indiana Public Radio, record for delayed broadcast to television, and broadcast live to the Internet.

Goulding & Wood Organ, Op. 45, 2006
Ball State University Sursa Performance Hall, Muncie, Indiana

    16’    Bourdon
    8’    Principal
    8’    Gambe
    8’    Flûte harmonique
    8’    Bourdon (ext. 16)
    4’    Octave
    4’    Flûte conique
    2-2/3’    Twelfth
    2’    Fifteenth
    1-3/5’    Seventeenth
    1-1/3’    Fourniture IV
    16’    Bombarde   
    8’    Trumpet
    4’    Clairon
    8’    Tuba Magna (floating)
Gt Reeds Off Gt
Gt 16 8 4
Sw to Gt 16 8 4
Pos to Gt 16 8 4

    16’    Quintaton
    8’    Flûte à cheminée
    8’    Gemshorn
    8’    Unda maris
    4’    Prestant
    4’    Flûte à fuseau
    2-2/3’    Nazard
    2’    Doublette
    2’    Flûte à bec
    1-3/5’    Tierce
    1-1/3’    Larigot
    2/3’    Cymbale IV
    8’    Cromorne
    8’    Tuba Magna (floating)
Pos 16 8 4
Gt to Pos 8
Sw to Pos 16 8 4
Gt Reeds on Pos

    16’    Cor de nuit
    8’    Diapason
    8’    Cor de nuit (ext. 16’)
    8’    Viole de Gambe
    8’    Voix céleste
    4’    Prestant
    4’    Flûte traversiére
    2’    Doublette
    2’    Piccolo
    2-2/3’    Sesquialtera II
    2’    Plein Jeu III—IV
    16’    Basson—Hautbois
    8’    Trompette
    8’    Hautbois (ext. 16’)
    8’    Voix humaine
    4’    Clairon
    8’    Tuba Magna (floating)
Sw 16 8 4
Pos to Sw 8
Gt Reeds on Sw

    32’    Contre Bourdon (ext. Soubasse)
    16’    Principal
    16’    Soubasse
    16’    Bourdon (Gt.)
    16’    Cor de nuit (Sw.)
    8’    Octave
    8’    Flûte bouchée
    8’    Bourdon (Gt.)
    8’    Cor de nuit (Sw.)
    4’    Choral Bass
    4’    Cantus Flute
    2-2/3’    Fourniture IV
    16’    Bombarde
    16’    Basson (Sw.)
    8’    Trompette
    8’    Basson (Sw.)
    4’    Clairon
    8’    Tuba Magna (floating)
Gt to Ped 8 4
Sw to Ped 8 4
Pos to Ped 8 4
Gt Reeds on Ped

Paris Impact: Organ Suites, Stephen Price, Goulding & Wood organ, Ball State University
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