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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Frederick Swann
Frederick Swann

Swann Song

After sixty years as a church musician, Frederick Swann is hanging up his organ shoes. We celebrate his art as he reminisces about his life experiences.

He came to prominence first as organist at the Riverside Church in New York City. This week, we’ll review the remarkable career of Frederick Swann, one of the most highly regarded American organists, as he reflects on his sixty-year career in the spotlight. In music by Franck and Farnam, Clarence Dickinson and some of his own compositions, we’ll hear Fred at Riverside, the Crystal Cathedral and First Congregational Church, Los Angeles, all churches with pipe organs of more than 200 stops each.

Even as a kid he knew what he wanted to do, and has done it masterfully a life fully lived Frederick Swann. Tune in for his Swann Song, with every verse an adventure.

Audio Complete Show

Audio 0337 Part 1 56:45 Min

Audio 0337 Part 2 31:16 Min

Program Broadcast dates:

  • September 15, 2003

Links and Resources:

Fred Swann began his career at the age of 10. He has presided over three of the largest church pipe organs in America and has played recitals throughout the world. He serves as president of the American Guild of Organists.

Music played in the program

SETH BINGHAM: The Bells of Riverside (1953 Aeolian-Skinner/Riverside, New York, NY) Gothic G49086

LYNNWOOD FARNAM: Toccata on O Filii et Filiae (1953 Aeolian-Skinner/Riverside, New York, NY) Gothic G49082

SIR EDWARD ELGAR: Prologue to The Apostles –Riverside Church Choir, Frederick Swann, conductor (1953 Aeolian-Skinner/Riverside, New York, NY) Gothic G49131

CLARENCE DICKINSON: The Joy of the Re-deemed (1953 Aeolian-Skinner/Riverside, New York, NY) Gothic G49086

FREDERICK SWANN: Let the whole creation cry. Trumpet Tune. Prayer. The Unchanging God –Crystal Cathedral Choir, Frederick Swann, conductor (1962 Aeolian-Skinner; 1977 Ruffatti/Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA) Gothic G49048

FREDERICK SWANN (arranged): The Queen’s Prayer (1960 Aeolian-Skinner/Cathedral of St. Andrew, Honolulu, HI) Gothic G49092

FREDERICK SWANN: Fanfare a Saint Clothilde (1953 Aeolian-Skinner/Riverside, New York, NY) Gothic G49086

CRAIG SELLER LANG: Tuba Tune (1997 Reuter/St. Mel RCC, Woodland Hills, CA) Gothic G49102

G.F. HANDEL: Voluntary on a Flight of Angels (1997 Reuter/First German UMC, Glendale, CA) Gothic G49102

JOHN WEAVER: Fugue on Saint Denio (1932 Skinner; 1969 Schlicker/First Congregational, Los Angeles, CA) Gothic G49118

CÉSAR FRANCK: Choral Number 1 in E (1962 Aeolian-Skinner; 1977 Ruffatti/Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA) Gothic G49049