Vienna Woods Music Company

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Recordings

Organ Music of Roland Leich and Charles Wood
Organ Music of John Davison and Hubert Parry

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Organ Music of Roland Leich and Charles Wood   Tom Leich, Organ     VWM001    Normally $13.00, reduced to $7.99

Roland Leich  (1911-1995):

Seven Chorale Preludes for Organ:

    1. Auf, auf! Die rechte Zeit ist hier (Arise, The Proper Time is Here)    1:32  Add to Cart
    2. Jesu süss (Sweet Jesus)    1:53  Add to Cart
    3. Mein Herz, gedenk’, was Jesus thut (My Heart, Consider, What Jesus Doth)    :48  Add to Cart
    4. O du Liebe meiner Liebe (O Thou Love of My Love)    3:29  Add to Cart
    5. Die ganze Welt (The Whole World)    1:03  Add to Cart
    6. Der Tag mit seinem Lichte (The Day With Its Light)    2:19  Add to Cart
    7. Schaff’s mit mir, Gott, nach deinem Willen (Do With Me, Lord, According to Thy Will)    1:34  Add to Cart

8. Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten (If Thou But Suffer God To Guide Thee)    2:32  Add to Cart
9. Now, Lord, Before You We Come    4:47  Add to Cart
10. Fugue for Organ    1:39  Add to Cart
11. Jesus, Lover of My Soul    5:54  Add to Cart
12. Pastorale    2:12  Add to Cart
13. Fanfare    3:24  Add to Cart

Roland Leich's Organ Works available from Vienna Woods Music Company

Roland Leich was born in 1911 in Evansville, Indiana. He studied composition with Leo Sowerby at Chicago's Gunn School of Music, Rosario Scalero at the Curtis Institute of Music, Anton Webern in Vienna, and Bernard Rogers at the Eastman School of Music. A graduate of Curtis, Dartmouth and Eastman, he taught at Dartmouth from 1935 until 1941. After serving in the Army during World War II, he was principal cellist of the Army's GI Symphony. In 1946 he joined the faculty at Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught theory and composition. He directed the student chorus (1953-1966) and served as head of the music department for two years before retiring in 1976. He was accompanist and associate director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh for 16 years and program annotator for the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society for 26 years. His works include choral, orchestral, and chamber compositions, as well as art songs. He twice won the Bearns Prize, administered by Columbia University: in 1933 for Housman Songs and in 1937 for his string quartet. In 1947 he was a resident at the MacDowell Colony. He actively composed and arranged music until his death in October 1995.

The composer provided the following note regarding the first seven chorale preludes: "These little pieces date back more than a half-century (1931) to when I was a student of Rosario Scalero, a stern disciplinarian, at the Curtis Institute of Music. The assignment was to write chorale preludes in the style of Bach and Brahms. (The very last composition of each master was a chorale prelude dealing, respectively, with arrival in Heaven and departure from Earth.) In general, Scalero approved of my efforts, but he objected to "O du Liebe" as too Wagnerian in its use of "unprepared" dissonance. Among a few kind friends who found hints of something personal in these academic exercises was my fellow student, the late Nino Rota, who rose to fame with his music for such films as Romeo and Juliet and The Godfather." The eighth prelude, written at the same time, was originally titled Wer weiss wie nahe mir mein Ende, and the other seven preludes were revised in 1959 and 1983. The 1983 revision was dedicated to Victor Hill, a former student, who teaches Mathematics at Williams College. Leo Sowerby, who came to be considered the dean of 20th century American church musicians, wrote to the young Leich in 1932 that “some (of these chorale preludes) are more attractive than some of the Brahms.... I admire the clever way in which you handle your counterpoint.”  The tunes are all old German chorales. Several were included in Bach’s 69 Chorale Melodies with figured bass (Auf, auf! Die rechte Zeit ist hier, Der Tag mit seinem Lichte, O du Liebe meiner Liebe).

Now, Lord, Before You We Come was commissioned by First Presbyterian Church of Evansville, Indiana for the dedication of their new Fisk organ. The chorale upon which the composition was based was also written for that occasion by Roland Leich. The Fugue was written while the composer was a student at the Curtis Institute of Music. The Chorale Prelude on Jesus, Lover Of My Soul (1986) was written for a memorial service for the composer's beloved uncle. The Pastorale (1938) was dedicated to a friend while the composer taught at Dartmouth and the theme was derived from her initials.  It was originally written for piano, but has been used quite effectively on the organ. The Fanfare(1988) was written as Fanfare on the Name Andrew Carnegie for brass band and was commissioned by the River City Brass Band of Pittsburgh.

Charles Wood  (1866-1926):

Sixteen Preludes for the Organ (Founded on Melodies from the English and Scottish Psalters)

14. St. Mary’s    5:32  Add to Cart
15. Old 77th Psalm    1:28  Add to Cart
16. Martyrs’ Tune    2:01  Add to Cart
17. Cheshire Tune    1:32  Add to Cart
18. York Tune    2:18  Add to Cart
19. Newtoun Tune    1:48  Add to Cart
20. Southwell Tune    3:15  Add to Cart
21. Old 113th Psalm    2:06  Add to Cart
22. Old 136th Psalm    2:57  Add to Cart
23. Lincoln Tune    1:10  Add to Cart
24. Old 137th Psalm    2:08  Add to Cart
25. Psalm 23 (H. Carey)    1:34  Add to Cart
26. Old 104th Psalm    1:44  Add to Cart
27. Old 25th Psalm    2:05  Add to Cart
28. Nunc Dimittis    3:40  Add to Cart
29. Old 132nd Psalm    2:10  Add to Cart

Total Time: 71:30

Charles Wood was born in Armagh, Ireland in 1866. He studied at the Royal College of Music and Cambridge, where he received a doctorate. He became a professor at the Royal College of Music and then succeeded Charles Stanford as Professor of Music at Cambridge in 1924. He died in Cambridge in 1926. He wrote a broad range of compositions, including choral and orchestral works, songs, church music and chamber music. Wood is probably best known for some of his choral music today.

The Sixteen Chorale Preludes for the Organ (Founded on Melodies from the English and Scottish Psalters) were published in 1912. They were edited by Charles Stanford. There is great variety in these pieces, reflecting the wide variety of thoughts and emotions expressed in the underlying Psalms and Wood’s intellectual vitality. Stylistically, these compositions contain elements of Franck, Brahms, Bach and others. The tunes are generally presented very clearly for the listener. A table is presented on the back page of this booklet showing the source of the tunes and the Psalms with which they were associated. Several are shown as Common, indicating that the tune was used for many different Psalms (numbers are shown next to a couple, showing Psalms with which these were frequently associated). Additionally, several other tunes were used for more than one Psalm. Early Presbyterians in America treated the Scottish Psalter almost as if it were scripture and the tunes were typically sung without harmony, although these Psalms were written in four parts even in early editions. Many of these tunes are still in common use in this country in the Episcopal church. Listeners may find that a reading of the associated Psalms may increase their appreciation of the quality of these pieces and their ability to interpret the emotions expressed in these Psalms, even if totally unfamiliar with the original tunes. With the exception of a few of the Charles Wood pieces, none of the pieces on this recording have been available before.

Organ Music of John Davison and Hubert Parry   Tom Leich, Organ     VWM002    Normally $13.00, reduced to $7.99

 

John Davison (born in 1930):

1. Fantasia on “St. Anne” (O God, Our Help, in ages past)    3:04    Add to Cart
2. March    1:44   Add to Cart

3-6.  Four Genevan Psalms

    I.  Quodlibet on Psalms 100 and 141    2:50   Add to Cart
    II.  Scherzo on “Old Hundredth”    1:44   Add to Cart
    III.  Variations on Psalm 80    5:05   Add to Cart
    IV.  Ground on Psalm 121    2:35   Add to Cart

7.  Passacaglia for Organ 5:19   Add to Cart

John Davison’s Organ Works in print available from Vienna Woods Music Company

John Davison, composer-pianist, born in 1930, grew up in upper New York state and in New York City. He studied music at the Juilliard lower school, Haverford College, Harvard, and Eastman, where he received his doctorate. Among his teachers were Alfred Swan, Randall Thompson, Walter Piston, Bernard Rogers, Howard Hanson, Alan Hovhaness, and Robert Palmer.

Since 1959 he has taught at Haverford College. He has received a number of prizes and fellowships. His music is published and recorded and has been played widely in the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. Among orchestras playing his compositions have been the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Susquehanna Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra.

Davison has co-authored with John Ashmead a book on the songs of Robert Burns with new harmonizations of the folk tunes that Burns used. These have been featured in a video shown on national public television. He has written for most of the standard media, as well as for unusual instruments such as koto, cimbalom, and bagpipe. His trombone music has been particularly widely played.

John Davison’s organ music is largely based on various dance forms. It recalls various elements of Baroque music, both in its contrapuntal development and rhythmic vitality, but has a fresh sound that is very distinctive and unique. The Fantasia on “St. Anne” (1965) opens with a lively interplay between the famous “O God, Our Help In Ages Past” and a descending figure (possibly God coming down to our aid). It develops and builds, with the chorale melody being ever present in various forms. The March (1957-58) was originally a wedding march. The Quodlibet on Psalms 100 and 141 (1973, a quodlibet is literally “what you please”) juxtaposes the two Psalm melodies, with Psalm 141 in the soprano line alternating phrases with Psalm 100 in the solo voice in the tenor line. The Scherzo on “Old Hundredth” (1951) has a delightful bouncy counter-melody that is so entrancing and fits so well with the chorale melody that a listener might almost miss the familiar doxology when it is introduced. The Variations on Psalm 80 (1954) follow the pattern of a chorale partita, with the last verse building to a grand fugal climax. The Ground on Psalm 121 (1973) is in 5/4 and employs a one-measure repeating figure (usually the bass line), passing through several keys and color changes. The Passacaglia for Organ (1978) opens with a very free development of the highly chromatic theme (which employs ten pitches, with a 15-beat pattern), building and ebbing. Then, after a very nice calming, mysterious passage, there is an exciting building to a dramatic conclusion.

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry  (1848-1918):

Seven Chorale Preludes for Organ, Set 1

    8. Dundee (The people that in darkness sat)    3:03  Add to Cart
    9. Rockingham (Thither be all Thy children led And let them all Thy sweetness know)    3:02  Add to Cart
    10. Hampton (O Love, how deep!  How broad!  How high!)    2:23  Add to Cart
    11. Old 104th (Like clouds are they borne to do Thy great will)    3:12  Add to Cart
    12. Melcombe (New mercies, each  returning day, Hover round us while we pray)    2:31  Add to Cart
    13. Christe, Redemptor omnium (Jesu, the very thought is sweet)    3:52  Add to Cart
    14. St. Anne  (O God, Our Help in ages past)    4:16  Add to Cart

Seven Chorale Preludes for Organ, Set 2

    15. Croft’s 136th (Ye boundless realms of joy)    3:11  Add to Cart
    16. Martyrdom (As pants the hart)    3:27  Add to Cart
    17. St. Thomas (Lo He comes, with clouds descending)    4:17  Add to Cart
    18. St. Mary (O Lord, turn not Thy face from me who in woeful state)    4:39  Add to Cart
    19. Eventide (Abide with me)    3:53  Add to Cart
    20. St. Cross (O come and mourn with me awhile)    4:01  Add to Cart
    21. Hanover (Our shield and defender)    4:34  Add to Cart

Total Time: 73:24

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) was one of the more prominent English composers of the Victorian era. He achieved considerable fame in his day, including becoming the director of the Royal College of Music and Professor of Music at Oxford. He was knighted in 1898 and named a baron in 1903. His compositions were varied, including solo songs, choral music and large orchestral works. In addition to the chorale preludes included in this recording, Parry had a number of other works for organ.

Parry’s chorale preludes were published as two sets of seven preludes each between 1912 and 1916. Thoroughly English, these pieces convey a sense of reverence and respect toward the Almighty. Varying from quiet settings with lush sustained harmonies to exuberant fantasies spilling over with tributes to Bach and Mendelssohn, there is much to like about these pieces. Chorale melodies are presented quite clearly and many of these melodies are still in common use. Parry, like other composers, used chorale preludes both as a way to present chorale melodies in elaborate settings that embody various compositional elements, but also as a way to express various thoughts and emotions through symbolism, tone colors, tempos, rhythms, harmonies and other means.

The Parry music presented in this recording is based on hymns from a wide range of sources.  Many of these hymns, such as St. Anne’s and Eventide, are in common use today.  Others have been neglected in recent years. The following summarizes the source and most common text associated with these tunes:
Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) was one of the more prominent English composers of the Victorian era. He achieved considerable fame in his day, including becoming the director of the Royal College of Music and Professor of Music at Oxford. He was knighted in 1898 and named a baron in 1903. His compositions were varied, including solo songs, choral music and large orchestral works. In addition to the chorale preludes included in this recording, Parry had a number of other works for organ.

Parry’s chorale preludes were published as two sets of seven preludes each between 1912 and 1916. Thoroughly English, these pieces convey a sense of reverence and respect toward the Almighty. Varying from quiet settings with lush sustained harmonies to exuberant fantasies spilling over with tributes to Bach and Mendelssohn, there is much to like about these pieces. Chorale melodies are presented quite clearly and many of these melodies are still in common use. Parry, like other composers, used chorale preludes both as a way to present chorale melodies in elaborate settings that embody various compositional elements, but also as a way to express various thoughts and emotions through symbolism, tone colors, tempos, rhythms, harmonies and other means.

The Parry music presented in this recording is based on hymns from a wide range of sources.  Many of these hymns, such as St. Anne’s and Eventide, are in common use today.  Others have been neglected in recent years. The following summarizes the source and most common text associated with these tunes:
 

Dundee Christopher Tye, 1553 many texts, including God Moves In A Mysterious Way
Rockingham Second Supplement to Psalmody In Miniature, 1783 many texts, including When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
Hampton Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1839 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High
Old 104th Psalm Thomas Ravenscroft’s Whole Booke of Psalms, 1621 O Worship The King All Glorious Above
Melcombe Samuel Webbe, 1782 many texts, including New Every Morning Is The Love
Christe, Redemptor omnium Plainsong O Savior Of Our Fallen Race
St. Anne William Croft, 1708 many texts, including O God, Our Help In Ages Past
Croft’s 136th William Croft, 1707 O Ye Immortal Throng
Martyrdom Hugh Wilson, 1827 many texts, including Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
St.  Thomas Aaron Williams’ The Universal Psalmist, 1763 many texts, including Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending
St. Mary Welsh Psalter (Prys), 1621 O Lord, Turn Not Away Thy Face
Eventide William Henry Monk, 1861 Abide With Me
St. Cross John Bacchus Dykes, 1861 O Come And Mourn With Me Awhile
Hanover William Croft, 1708 O Worship The King and Ye Servants Of God

The Organ

The organ used in these recordings is a virtual organ based on samples recorded on a Sauer organ in Halle, Germany and a von Beckerath organ in Montreal. The samples were played using the Reality Synthesizer by Seer Systems controlled by Cakewalk Pro Audio 7. Room effects were added through the Acoustics Modeler by Sonic Foundry. Vienna Woods Music Company is grateful to Propeller Island, McGill University Master Samples, Seer Systems, Cakewalk Music Systems, and Sonic Foundry for their fine products. All of the music on this recording is also available in printed form from Vienna Woods Music Company. All performances, editing, commentary and audio processing were done by Tom Leich.

Tom Leich, son of Roland Leich, is an organist and accompanist in Northern Virginia. His organ teachers were Charles Pearson of Carnegie Mellon University and Temple Painter of Haverford College. He is currently organist and adult choir director for Presbyterian Church of the Atonement in Silver Spring, Maryland. Tom has been involved with synthesizers and electronic music since 1985.

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