Some New & Some Rarely Heard Organ Works
Played on the 1950 Holtkamp 3-73, Syracuse University
Christopher Marks, University Organist at Syracuse University 1999-2006 and now at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, presents his discoveries of lesser-known and new works on the famous 1950 Holtkamp
3-73 incorporating much of the pipework of the previous Roosevelt organ
at Crouse College Auditorium.
David Johnson, composer
and Syracuse University Organist 1967-69, captures in written form the
spirit of his prodigious improvisatory skills in the Fugue à la Gigue, composed during his tenure.
Nicolas Scherzinger composed these five short works for a 2003 concert
series at Syracuse, where he is on the faculty, and they were premiered
by Christopher Marks. As Scherzinger’s first pieces for organ, they are
pleasantly unusual, each using the sounds and capabilities of the
instrument in a different way. Each is a world unto itself, often
taking two or three simple musical ideas and combining them to make a
more complex structure.
Joseph Ahrens (1904-1999), an extremely prolific composer, seems all but
unknown outside his native Germany. This charming set of variations on
the well-known Pentecost hymn was written in 1947 and is clearly
grounded in the modality of Gregorian chant, the linear nature of which
was of particular interest to Ahrens. The austere, spacious, and deeply
spiritual nature of these settings is true to the Gregorian origins of
the melody while existing within a modern idiom.
Lesser known works of better known composers complete the very interesting program.
DAVID N. JOHNSON: Fugue à la Gigue
BACH: Jesus Christus, unser Heiland BWV 688; Prelude & Fugue in G BWV 550
TUNDER: In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr
NICOLAS SCHERZINGER: Five Pieces for Solo Organ
JOSEPH AHRENS: Veni Creator Spiritus
DUPRÉ: Suite Bretonne, op. 21
SOWERBY: Passacaglia from Symphony for Organ