1. MAURICE DURUFLÉ (1902–1986) Toccata from Suite pour Orgue, Op. 5
2. BRUCE SIMONDS (1895–1989) Prelude on ‘Iam Sol Recedit Igneus’
3.–4. ANTHONY NEWMAN [b. 1941) Toccata and Fuga Sinfonica on B.A.C.H.
5. RICHARD WAGNER (1813–1883) Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music from ‘Die Walküre’
6. GEORGE BAKER (b. 1951) Danse Diabolique (Commission and world premiere recording)
7. MARCO ENRICO BOSSI (1861–1925) Scherzo in g minor, Op. 49, no. 2
8. MAURICE RAVEL (1875–1937) La Valse (World Premiere Recording)
Hailed as “the organist for the connoisseur,” (Organ – Journal für die Orgel, Germany), “the thinking person’s performer,” (Het Orgel), “every bit the equal of any organist,” (The American Organist), and “the consummate creative artist,” (Michael Barone, Pipedreams), Stephen Tharp is recognized as one of the great concert organists of our age. This is his Acis debut.
Having played more than 1400 concerts across 47 tours worldwide, Stephen Tharp has built one of the most well-respected international careers in the world, earning him the reputation as the most traveled concert organist of his generation. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World, and has been given the 2011 International Performer of the Year Award by the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. A champion of new organ music, Tharp commissions numerous compositions for the instrument. The first such piece was Jean Gillou’s symphonic poem Instants, Op. 57, which Tharp premiered at King’s College, Cambridge, England in February 1998. Works dedicated to him include George Baker’s Variations on “Rouen” (2009); David Briggs’ Toccata Labyrinth (2006); Samuel Adler’s Sonata (2005); Eugenio Fagiani’s Psalm 100 (2009) and Stèle (2003); Thierry Escaich’s Trois Poèmes (2002); Philip Moore’s Sinfonietta (2001); Anthony Newman’s Tombeau d’Igor Stravinsky (2000), Toccata and Fuga Sinfonica on BACH (1999) and Second Symphony (1992); Martha Sullivan’s Slingshot Shivaree for Organ and Percussion (1999); and Morgan Simmons’ Exercitatio Fantastica (1997).
The repertoire on the disc was chosen specifically to highlight the colors and range that this magnificent organ can produce in the ideal acoustical environment of St. James’ – warmth, clarity and gracious resonance: no thread of the music becomes lost. The CD Booklet contains an essay on the character and design on the instrument by Jack M. Bethards, President & Tonal Director, Schoenstein & Co.