J. S Bach Vol. 1
J. S Bach Vol. 2
The Fabulous French Vol. 1
The Fabulous French Vol. 2
Fanfares and Noels
The 20th Century
Major Works in
Organ Music of the Twentieth Century contains music that is varied,
diverse, controversial and tumultuous. These properties were the nature and
legacy of the 20th Century. Great technological, political and sociological
changes took place, as well as great upheaval and devastating wars. Great
inventions abounded, from air and space travel, cures for diseases, atomic
weapons and energy, computers and the internet. The technology that enables
these Virtual Pipes recordings was invented in the 20th Century.
The music in this volume reflects all of these
great and tumultuous times.
|Toccata, Villancico, y Fuga - Alberto Ginastera (Brazil -
The Toccata is loosely structured like the famous Bach Toccata in D
minor, although the key is C Major. Many of the harmonic structures contain
intervals of stacked fourths, that resolve to major chords.
The Villancico is a delightful and
tuneful movement, reminiscent of a folk tune melody. Many solo voices
are used throughout, including Hautbois, Cromorne and Clarinet.
The Fuga uses the notes B-A-C-H
as its subject. ( In ancient German transcription, B is b flat, and H is b
natural). The subject is introduced using the Great division Montre 8' and
4' Octav, and builds to using the entire resources of the instrument. The
final measures contains massive chords over a low C pedal point with
dissonant intervals played on the pedals, creating an ominous and awesome
|Arabesque sur les Flûtes
- Jean Langlais (France - 1948) Movement
VI from Suite Français|
These piece uses individual flute stops starting with the Rückpositiv
Gedackt, Great Bourdon, Great Harmonique flute, Rückpositiv Quintade and
Positif Concert Flute. The accompanying chords are played on cool sounding
|Pavane - Robert Elmore (United States - 1954) Movement
II from Rhythmic Suite|
Much of 20th century organ music is comprised of stark, dissonant harmonies
and non-standard rhythms. But Pavanne is a stark contrast to that,
with flowing, beautiful melodies and a steady, pulsing meter.
The sensuous and haunting melody is played by
two different virtual flutes. Other solos stops are Flûte Ouverte, Cor
Anglais and French Horn.
|2nd Fantasie - Jehan Alain (France - 1939)|
Born in 1911 to a musical family, Alain wrote some now standard repertory
works for organ, including "Litanies". Alain disliked
loud sounds and would play full organ combinations with the swell box
closed. Alain employed odd time signatures and rhythmic patterns in his
music, as well as exotic melodic patterns, evocative of middle eastern
Alain fell victim to the fate of some 100
million people in the 20th century. He was killed in combat June 20, 1940
when a bullet struck cavalryman Alain in the heart.
|Pastel - Robert Hebble (United States - 1982)|
Robert Hebble arranged for the late Organists Virgil Fox and Ted Alan Worth
and is a talented composer in his own right.
Pastel is a bluesy, soulful tune,
employing lush ensembles and a sensual alto Sax solo. A Scherzo center
section is very suggestive of Louis Viernes' Scherzo from the 2nd
Pastel is dedicated to Ted Alan Worth.
|Prelude and Fugue in B Major - Marcel Dupre (France - 1920) Opus
7, no. 1|
Marcel Dupre was a gifted organist and composer. Dupre's compositions were
often rated as unplayable because they were so technically demanding. This
piece progresses with a great deal of fire and brilliance to its' blazing
|Ave Maria, Ave Maris Stellis - Jean Langlais (France - 1933-34) from
Trois Paraphrases Grégoriennes |
Based on two Gregorian chants, this piece possesses a
The first chant is introduced two octaves apart
using the Flûte Celeste Stop. A middle section uses the organ foundations
stops, all at 8' pitch.
The last episode has a particularly dreamy characteristic,
with the lushest sounds (string celestes and Vox Humana) used to create the
|Dialogue sur les Mixtures - Jean Langlais (France - 1947) From
Movement IV of this suite is a dialogue between
various divisions of the virtual organ, with the Grande Orgue on the left,
Positif in the center, and the RückPositiv on the left. The highly
ornamented "Plus Lent" section in the center of the piece uses the
Cornet and the Septieme stops alternatively.
The piece features numerous time signature
changes, which gives it a jazz feel.
|Les Banquet Celeste - Olivier Messiaen (France - 1934)|
Depicting the Last Supper, this piece has a stark beauty to it. The pedal
plays high pitched, pulsing notes depicting the tears of Christ in his last
hours. The tempo is very slow and deliberate, fading to a D flat seventh
chord at the end.
|Dieu Parmi Nous - Olivier Messiaen (France - 1936) Movement
IX from La Nativité du Seigneur|
Translated as "God in our Midst",
this piece has one very unique attribute. It has no time signature! Each
"measure" is a sequence of melodic and rhythmic figures. As
this work has such unusual timing, it is very difficult to play. However,
the original timing as written is preserved here, and reveals the true
nature of this opus.
Messiaen specifies ffff at the
end of the piece, and this uses the entire resources of the virtual
Born in 1908, Messiaen became organist of
La Sainte Trinité in Paris when he was 22 and remained there
until his death in April, 1992. It was written that while playing there, he
either transported or distracted the faithful with his progressive and
uniquely 20th century music.