HE IS RISEN!Favorite Hymns of the Easter Season
WILLIAM NEIL, organ
John Jay Hopkins Memorial Organ
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company, Opus 1456 (1969)
The National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.
"...innovative and displays the complexities and possibilities of the famed Aeolian-Skinner organ at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. William Neil … uses the large organ to maximum effect, drawing on a wide range of tonal colours."
MusicWeb International, March 2008
"This album is just the thing for anyone looking for a traditional organ recital of Easter hymns...Listeners accustomed to the tradition of organ playing at the High Church end of Calvinist Protestantism (particularly the various Presbyterian denominations, but also Episcopalians and Anglicans) are likely to find the selection and performance of these hymns close to ideal. Neil is masterful in his use of registration, which sets just the right mood for each of the hymns. His tempos are also well chosen and his use of rubato is subtle and appropriate. The introductions to the hymns are creative, but not ostentatious, as are his altered harmonizations of the final verses. The sound is clean, with just enough resonance."
- All Music Guide, May 2007
"The instrument [at The National Presbyterian Church] is one of the finest...creations of the Aeolian-Skinner firm"
The American Organist, September 2005
PROGRAM NOTESWILLIAM NEIL, Organist of the National Symphony Orchestra, is well known for his performances of traditional and contemporary organ music. Prior to his appointment in 2001 as Organist of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC he served as Organist of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago. He has performed with ensembles like the New York Trumpet Ensemble, Millar Brass Ensemble and Washington Symphonic Brass, and with the National Symphony under the baton of Slatkin, Rostropovich, Siciliani, Hogwood and others. Mr. Neil is the first Washington organist invited to perform on the Charles Fisk Organ at the Meyerson Center in Dallas, Texas. In 2001, he was a featured soloist in the inaugural concerts of the new Casavant Organ at Robert Jacoby Hall with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Inspired by the teaching of organists Leonard Raver, Arthur Poister and Will Headlee, and harpsichordist Anthony Newman, Mr. Neil has enjoyed a career both onstage and in the classroom, serving on the faculties of George Mason University and The Catholic University of America as organ instructor. Many of his former students hold prominent academic and church music positions in the United States and around the world, and he is featured in recordings on the MSR Classics, Philips Classics, Sony Classical, Naxos, Summit and Newport Classics labels. William Neil was born and raised in Central Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University and Syracuse University.