Robert Knupp at MS College's Provine Chapel, Jan 11, 2017. Organ equipped with Hauptwerk. Be sure to read the paragraph "About Hauptwerk" at the end of the review; it contains a link you may use to hear the recital. Review by Amy Lauren Jones, ©2017. 1) Kuhnau - Prelude & Fugue in B Flat Major Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722) St. Clement Church, Lędziny, Poland Organ by Carl Volkamnn (1888) Johann Kuhnau established a reputation in Germany as a polymath; that is, an expert in multiple fields. Though best known today for his musical compositions, Kuhnau also wrote novels and worked as a lawyer, translator, and music theorist. For 21 years, he occupied the post of Thomaskantor in Leipzig. There, he wrote operas, masses, and other large-scale vocal works mostly lost to history. Some of his existing works include programmatic keyboard sonatas published in 1700, each of which portrays a particular Biblical narrative. Kuhnau also distinguished himself by transferring the chamber sonata to the clavier. The Prelude and Fugue in B Flat Major appeared in Kuhnau's "New Clavier Exercises." Johann Sebastian Bach, on whom Kuhnau's music undoubtedly had some influence, succeeded Kuhnau as Thomaskantor after his death in 1722. The sample set for this piece draws on a Polish town located in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region.The Parish of Lędziny, one of the oldest on Upper Silesia, features a church built in 1769. The church's organ underwent comprehensive renovations in 1999-2000 that maintained its mechanical key and stop action. Carl Volkamnn developed this set in 2006. 2) Bruhns - Prelude in e Minor Nicolaus Bruhns (1665-1697) Melzer Chamber Music Hall, Warsaw, Poland Organ by Walcker (1993) A child prodigy, Nicolaus Bruhns studied under Dietrich Buxtehude in Lübeck, Germany. Buxtehude became so impressed with Bruhns' talents and progress as to consider him a stellar pupil. At Buxtehude's recommendation, Bruhns worked as organist and violinist in Copenhagen. Later, he received the position of organist of the Stadtkirche in Husum, where he worked for the remainder of his life. This piece by Nicolaus Bruhns received the nickname "The Great" for its massive musical requirements, and scholars have hailed it as one of the greatest works of the North German organ tradition. Unfortunately, little of Bruhns' music survives today, with only 12 vocal pieces and 5 organ pieces. The existing three sacred madrigal cantatas demonstrate a noticable progression toward the music of the next century, such as the music of J.S. Bach. Though C.P.E. Bach claimed that his father admired and studied Bruhns' music, scholars have yet to trace any direct influence. The sample organ for this piece was created by Piotr Grabowski as part of his thesis for the The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland. For this thesis, he also developed a sample set for another Polish organ in Dluga Kościelna. 3) Bach - Prelude & Fugue in d Minor (BWV#538 - the "Dorian") Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Stadtkirche, Grosshartmansdorf, Germany Organ by Silbermann (1741) This organ piece by J.S. Bach commonly receives the nickname "Dorian", referring to the piece's lack of key signature and assumed Dorian modality. Like Bach's Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 562, it is monothematic, or containing a motif that continues through the end of the piece. This theme appears at the opening as a quick sixteenth-note pattern, often elaborated during the piece. The piece also includes notated manual changes written in by Bach himself, a rare practice in his music. The complex fugue in D minor features a subject with syncopations and three leaps of a perfect fourth. Only the final four bars of the piece break the strict contrapuntal development with several climactic chords. The fugue also bears notable similarity to the fugue of BWV 540 with an alla breve time signature, subjects with syncopated minims and semibreves, extended chromatics, harmonic suspensions, and unbroken succession of subjects and answers. Bach worked in Weimar between 1708 and 1717, during which he composed the "Dorian" in addition to many other significant organ works. Among Germany's historic organs, Gottfried Silbermann's thirty-one instruments mostly remain in near-original condition. Gottfried Silbermann (1683-1753) and J.S. Bach were contemporaries, colleagues, and friends. The organ sampled here is located in Großhartmannsdorf, Germany, and was sampled by Peter Ewers for his Gigastudio pipe organ series "Symphonic Organ Libraries" in 2001. 4) Mendelssohn - Organ Sonata V Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847) Andante-Andante Con Moto-Allegro Maestoso Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Chicago, Illinois Organ by EM Skinner (1928) Felix Mendelssohn's six Organ Sonatas, Op. 65, received publication in 1845. Mendelssohn's best compositional qualities are demonstrated in the organ sonatas, commissioned as a "set of voluntaries" by the English publishers Coventry and Hollier in 1844. Biographer Eric Werner wrote "Next to Bach's works, Mendelssohn's Organ Sonatas belong to the required repertory of all organists. Throughout his lifetime, Mendelssohn performed many well-received organ recitals across Europe. However, he refused to perform this set of sonatas when invited to do so at the Birmingham Festival of 1846, due to the sonatas' extensive use of the pedals. English organs had very poorly developed pedal sections (if any); Mendelssohn was so popular, however, that he managed to have at least one English organ outfitted with a German-style pedal division. One wonders what Handel's organ concertos would have been like if the organs available to him in England had included well-developed pedal divisions - he certainly did have a good ear for contrapuntal bass lines (think of the final chorus "Amen" in "The Messiah"). Termed "The American Classic", the Grand Organ of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Chicago, Illinois is a rare Skinner organ that remains nearly entirely in its original state. Two sample sets for this historic instrument are available for organists. One includes dry pipe samples sans acoustics, while the other maintains the original acoustics of the church. 5) Utterbeck - Swing Low, Sweet Chariot setting by Joe Utterback (b. 1944) Redford Theater, Detroit, Michigan Organ by Barton (1928) Joe Utterback has performed on the American jazz scene for more than fifty years, with European and American tours in addition to long-term gigs in the jazz centers of Kansas City, San Francisco, St. Louis, and presently New York City. Recent annual engagements include the Empire State Building Christmas entertainment and Tony Awards Galas. The Kansas-born musician's childhood in Pentecostal circles fostered his gospel style. Utterback also draws inspiration from romantic and impressionist piano traditions. He holds degrees in classical piano performance from Wichita State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas. In addition to leading workshops at national and regional conferences of organizations such as College Music Society, National Federation of Music Clubs, and the American Guild of Organists, Utterback has taught for more than twenty years at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Since 1996, he has served as Director of Music/Organist at the First Congregational Church, Stratford, CT. The virtual Barton Theatre Organ project, begun by the members of the VTPO Yahoo Group, aimed to electronically recreate the Barton Theatre Organ of the Redford Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. Group members Joe Hardy and Lynn Walls recorded samples for this instrument set. Since opening on January 27, 1928, the Redford Theatre has served as an entertainment center in Metro Detroit. 6) Ertle - Prelude & Fugue in E major Warren Ertle (b. 1993)-World Premiere Concordia University, Irvine, California Organ by Casavant (1988) Warren Ertle is a composer soon to be based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he will pursue a Master's in composition at The Boston Conservatory. Born and raised in central Mississippi, he earned B.Mus. in music composition from Mississippi College (with Ben Williams) and studied organ with Robert Knupp. A pianist and percussionist for the 41st Army Band, Ertle has also performed with The Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps (2011) and The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps (2012-2014). The Jackson Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, The Mississippi College Symphonic Winds, The Verismo Trio, Hinds Community College Wind Ensemble, and the percussionists Jason Mathena and Joe Kulick have performed Ertle's compositions. The organ, a Casavant Frères Ltée. Opus 3640, was built in 1988. The organ is situated at the front of the room with some exposed pipes and a traditional movable console with roll top. The instrument was sampled by CLR Resources, which develops sample sets for American Classic organs. 7)Tournemire - Chorale-Improvisation on "Victimae Paschali Laudes" Charles Tournemire(1870-1939) Our Lady of the Assumption, Metz, France Organ by Cavaille-Coll (1903) During the lifetime of Charles Tournemire, organ improvisation was a necessary skill among French organists, as it remains today. Improvisation was taught at many conservatories throughout Europe, and many Catholic organists considered the tool indispensable. Maurice Duruflé's organ transcription of Tournemire's improvisation on the plainsong theme "Victimae Paschali" has been recorded by Marie-Madeleine Duruflé, in addition to many other virtuoso performers. Many prominent organists, including Charles Tournemire and Marcel Dupré, wrote method books on improvisation. In 1930-31, Charles Tournemire recorded five improvisations on acetate discs. Although Tournemire often refused requests to transcribe and publish the improvisations he recorded, his pupil Duruflé did transcribe and publish the well-known set of Five Improvisations in 1958. Despite poor audio quality and many late nights in which Duruflé slowed the record to half-speed in an effort to extricate complex passages, Duruflé did an admirable job of transcribing pieces such as "Victimae Paschali Laudes" into a written score suitable for performance. Located in Metz, France, the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Notre Dame suits the French-Romantic works of Widor, Franck, Dupré and other masters. The set maintains the original Cavaillé-Coll church acoustics and samples from every pipe. A virtual extended edition also features ten additional stops. About Hauptwerk: Have you ever enjoyed listening to a CD of an organ that Bach may have played? If so you may be surprised to know you can have a similar experience today, with a live and local performance. A program called Hauptwerk makes this possible. In the first step, a pipe organ is digitally recorded note-for-note, pipe-by-pipe. Then the organ is configured on Hauptwerk using the same stoplist as the original organ, and then the computer is attached to a MIDI ready organ console. The output of sound comes directly from the computer and can be heard over headphones, small speakers, or even a Public Address system. The result is that the recorded pipe organ is re- created digitally, in essence a virtual reproduction stop-for-stop of the original pipe organ. A computer with Hauptwerk was purchased for use in MC's Provine Chapel, and organ professor Robert Knupp played a recital there last January. His program included 7 pieces, each one on sounds from a different organ; the oldest from 1741 and the most recent from 1993. So far as we know this is the only Hauptwerk system in a public space in Mississippi. Dr. Knupp's recital was recorded and is available online. To hear the recital, Click Here.