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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Historic Holtkamps

Will Headlee and David Hurd play two noteworthy examples of Walter Holtkamp, Sr.’s pioneering neo-classic instruments at Syracuse University in New York State and Fisk University in Nashville TN.

Audio Complete Show

Audio 9931 Part 1 47:52 Min

Audio 9931 Part 2 40:09 Min

Program Broadcast dates:

  • August 2, 1999

Music played in the program

J.S. BACH: Prelude & Fugue in A, S. 536 –ARTHUR POISTER (1950 Holtkamp/Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College, Syracuse, NY) Westminster LP WST-14131

FELA SOWANDE: Obangiji –David Hurd (1960 Holtkamp/Memorial Chapel, Fisk University, Nashville, TN) recorded January 26, 1991

DAVID N. JOHNSON: Trumpet Tune in B-flat. MARCEL DUPRÉ: Cortege et Litanie, Opus 19, number 2 –Will Headlee (1950 Holtkamp/Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College, Syracuse, NY)

DAVID HURD: 3 Fugues: Thomas; Julian; Talley; Evening Song; Partita on Detroit –David Hurd (1960 Holtkamp/Memorial Chapel, Fisk University, Nashville, TN)

DARIUS MILHAUD: 5 Preludes. J.S. BACH: Chorale-prelude, Wir glauben all, S. 740. LEON VERREES: Chorale-improvisation, O for a closer walk with God –Will Headlee (1950 Holtkamp/Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College, Syracuse, NY)

Since this program was released, Will Headlee’s performances, including additional repertoire, have been released on Raven OAR-440. Another recent recording of the Crouse organ is available on Pro Organo CD 7082. The Syracuse Holtkamp, with its stunning exposed pipes, stands at the front of an extraordinary triple-barrel-vaulted wood-panelled room and incorporates some pipework from the University’s 1889 Roosevelt instrument. The Crouse Auditorium installation was one of Holtkamp’s finest designs. It remains a stellar example of the best of both tonal and visual aspects of post-war American neo-classic organbuilding, and these new CD releases present it splendidly. The smaller Fisk University organ, not documented on CD, unfortunately, and here presented in special PIPEDREAMS concert recordings, also benefits from an acoustically attractive 19th-century auditorium setting and remains the first such instrument built for an African-American college.

This program was originally issued as #9148 in December 1991.