David Schrader – Frank Ferko & Leo Sowerby – Organ Music (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 02:46:32 minutes | 2,8 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Cedille
Versatile keyboard virtuoso David Schrader, heard on more than two dozen Cedille Records albums, performs attractive 20th- and 21st-century solo organ works by Frank Ferko (b. 1950) and Leo Sowerby (1895-1968), prolific composers known for their organ mastery and closely associated with the city of Chicago.
Ferko’s works, all world-premiere recordings, are heard on three different mechanical-action organs at The House of Hope Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, Minnesota. The intimate Music for Elizabeth Chapel is performed on the organ it was written for: the 19-rank Jaeckel, Opus 41. Variations on a Hungarian Folk Theme, also written for the textures and colors of a small instrument, is heard on an authentic Romantic-era French organ, with 13 ranks, built by Joseph Merklin in 1878 for a church in southern France.
Ferko compositions performed on the 97-rank C.B. Fisk Opus 78 (1979) include Variations on “Veni Creator Spiritus,” based on a ninth-century plainsong hymn; Angels – Chaconne for Organ, Missa O Ecclesia: Communion, and Mass for Dedication, all based on chants by 12th-century abbess, composer, and Christian mystic Hildegard von Bingen; Symphonie br`eve, dedicated to Schrader; and Tired Old Nun, a novelty piece scored for pedals alone, with waltz, slow blues, and boogie variations.
Schrader offers his Sowerby program on the 68-rank Wicks Opus 2918 organ at St. Ita’s Catholic Church, Chicago, renovated in 2003 by H.A. Howell. Like the great Skinner organs that Sowerby knew well, it includes a Solo division with stops that are essential to performing the composer’s large-scale works. Repertoire includes some of Sowerby’s best-known organ music: the brilliant program overture Comes Autumn Time; the virtuosic Pageant, championed by Virgil Fox; Toccata, a recital staple for generations of American organists; and the monumental Symphony in G Major, first recorded in 1942 by British organist E. Power Biggs for RCA Victor. Schrader also includes a Sowerby rarity, the March from Suite for Organ.
01. David Schrader – Music for Elizabeth Chapel: I. Variations on “Leoni”
02. David Schrader – Music for Elizabeth Chapel: II. Variations on “St. Elizabeth” (Crusader’s Hymn)
03. David Schrader – Music for Elizabeth Chapel: III. Toccata & Fugue on “St. Anne”
04. David Schrader – Variations on “Veni Creator Spiritus”
05. David Schrader – Angels
06. David Schrader – Symphonie br`eve: I. Andante
07. David Schrader – Symphonie br`eve: II. Very Fast, Lightly
08. David Schrader – Symphonie br`eve: III. Chorale
09. David Schrader – Missa “O Ecclesia”: Communion (After Hildegard von Bingen)
10. David Schrader – Variations on a Hungarian Folk Tune
11. David Schrader – Tired Old Nun
12. David Schrader – Mass for Dedication: I. Entrance
13. David Schrader – Mass for Dedication: II. Offertory
14. David Schrader – Mass for Dedication: III. Consecration
15. David Schrader – Mass for Dedication: IV. Communion
16. David Schrader – Mass for Dedication: V. Finale
17. David Schrader – Comes Autumn Time (Version for Organ)
18. David Schrader – Pageant
19. David Schrader – Toccata
20. David Schrader – Organ Suite: IV. March
21. David Schrader – Sowerby: Organ Symphony in G Major: I. Very Broadly
22. David Schrader – Organ Symphony in G Major: II. Fast and Sinister
23. David Schrader – Organ Symphony in G Major: III. Passacaglia
24. David Schrader – 2 Sketches: No. 1, Nostalgic
25. David Schrader – 2 Sketches: No. 2, Fancy-Free