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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

1891 Roosevelt organ at Saint James Roman Catholic Church, Chicago
1891 Roosevelt organ at St. James RCC, Chicago

Windy City History

Our travels take us to Chicago this week, and the shores of Lake Michigan where American organbuilding traditions come alive on instruments from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Bill Aylesworth showcases the oldest surviving of its kind in Chicago, built by the Hook Brothers of Boston for the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Contrast it with any of the organs listed below, and you’ll realize just how varied organ music can be. Tune in and you might get so excited you’ll want to visit the place for some exploration on your own.

Nostalgic zephyr and blasts from the past as we audition instruments from as early as 1875. Bill Aylesworth, Mary Gifford, Wolfgang Rübsam and others respirate the past, as we explore Windy City History, antique organs in Chicago, this week on Pipedreams.

Audio Complete Show

Program Broadcast dates:

  • June 3, 2002

Music played in the program

CLARENCE EDDY: Praeludium in a. ALEXANDRE GUILMANT: Adagio espressivo, from Sonata Number 2. FREDERIC ARCHER: Allegretto con moto, from Archer’s Organ BookMichael Surratt; William Aylesworth (1891 Roosevelt/St. James RCC, Chicago, IL) CMOHS CD-1001

DANIEL GAWTHROP: Passacaglia. GABRIEL DUPONT: MeditationMary Gifford (1882 Steere & Turner/Pullman UMC, Chicago, IL) Giffitz CD-001

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS: Prelude, Opus 99 –Kaveli Kiviniemi (1928 Skinner; 2008 Schantz/Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL) Motette CD MOT 12361

CHARLES-MARIE WIDOR: March, from Symphony Number 3. SAMUEL SEBASTIAN WESLEY: Larghetto in f#. TRADITIONAL: French Folksong –William Aylesworth (1875 E. & G.G. Hook & Hastings/Scottish Rite Cathedral, Chicago, IL) Arsis CD-122

HARRY WARREN: Remember Me. ALBERT KETÈLBY: In a Chinese Temple Garden. SIR EDWARD ELGAR: Chanson de Matin. SIDNEY TORCH: On a Spring NoteRon Rhode, Simon Gledhill, Tom Hazleton (1927 Wurlitzer/Place de la Musique, Sanfilippo Residence, Barrington, IL) Hopeful Heart CD-202

JAN PIETERSZOON SWEELINCK: Balletto del Granduca. MARCEL DUPRÉ: Preludio, from Symphony Number 2, Opus 26 –Erik William Suter (1954 Aeolian-Skinner/St. John Evangelical Lutheran, Forest Park, IL) JAV CD-105

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, Opus 65. JOHN WILLIAMS: Throne Room & Finale, from Star WarsRichard Webster (1921 Skinner/St. Luke Episcopal, Evanston, IL) JAV CD-125

These and many other instruments, new and old, will be featured in this year’s national convention of the Organ Historical Society, June 25-July 1, 2002. Events are open to the public. For more information visit the Organ Historical Society. And don’t miss the American Guild of Organist’s national convention in Philadelphia immediately afterwards, July 1-6, 2002. Contact the AGO