Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments
1929 Skinner organ at Woolsey Hall, Yale University
This week’s program redirects Richard Wagner’s focus to an instrument which sounds as lofty as any of as his own artistic ideas. Unlike Bach, Wagner never composed for solo organ but LIKE Bach his music adapts well to transcription. Listen to and enjoy your favorite overtures, choruses, arias and scenes convincingly transformed by such keyboard greats as Thomas Murray, Simon Preston, Carlo Curley and Anthony Newman.
Hold onto your horses. It’s opera without singers, pipes without preludes and fugues, and an atypical anomally as some of the grandest 19th century music is magically transformed in a manner possible only in the realm of the King of Instruments. This week we discover a surprise in every measure when we find Wagner at the Console.
RICHARD WAGNER (arranged by Edwin H. Lemare): Die Meistersinger Overture –Anthony Newman and Friends (1954 Aeolian-Skinner; 2008 Quimby/Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, NY) Columbia MS-33268
RICHARD WAGNER (arranged by Cailliet): Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral, from Lohengrin-Ridgewood Concert Band, Christian Wilhjelm, conductor; David Fedor (1954; 1990 Schantz/Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark, NJ) Pro Organo CD 7055
RICHARD WAGNER (arranged by Thalben-Ball): Ride of the Valkyries, from Die Walküre –Anthony Newman (1954 Aeolian-Skinner; 2008 Quimby/Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, NY) Columbia MS-33268
Though Richard Wagner did include a noteworthy organ part in his opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, his vision was directed towards areas other than the organ loft. We’ll forgive him…if he’ll forgive us!