Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments
1998 Casavant organ at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall
Music for organ and orchestra enjoys an added spice at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. This week we visit the recent 44-stop Casavant pipe organ to evaluate its considerable potential. Consultant Jeff Weiler talks about its varied background and why, despite a modest specification, it does everything an organ must do in a symphonic space. Soloist David Schrader plays colorful solos and teams up with the Grant Park Symphony for works by Samuel Barber, Walter Piston, Leo Sowerby and Michael Colgrass.
American concert halls have come to realize that the room is not complete without the presence of the King of Instruments. Understand why and join in a Chicago Celebration: the Casavant organ at Orchestra Hall.
WALTER PISTON: Prelude & Allegro for Organ and Strings 
MARCEL DUPRÉ: Variations on a Noël, Opus 20
LEO SOWERBY: Concert Piece for Organ and Orchestra 
MICHAEL COLGRASS: The Whispering Voices of Spirits, from Snow Walker, Organ Concerto 
SAMUEL BARBER: Toccata Festiva, Opus 36
All organ-and-orchestra performances come from the instrument’s CD debut from Cedille CD-9063. Carlos Kalmar conducts the Grant Park Orchestra. Included are additional comments from Chicago Symphony executive director Henry Fogel, organ consultant Jeff Weiler, and acoustical consultant Dawn Schuette of Kirkegaard Associates.