DANIEL GAWTHROP: EXULTATE
MARY MOZELLE, organ
At the Organ of the Princeton University Chapel
World Premiere Recordings
"[Gawthrop] has an ideal protagonist in Mary Mozelle, whose clear playing shows each piece to advantage. Ms. Mozelle has done us a large favor in presenting this splendid music."
The Diapason - April 2009
"A leading American composer of choral and orchestral music, Daniel E. Gawthrop has also produced a considerable number of organ works that are appealing to performer and listener alike. In general, Gawthrop’s music is optimistic, possessing a quintessential American spirit. While driving rhythms are a frequent feature, he employs a wide variety of rhythmic and melodic devices, creating continual interest. His harmonies, rooted in tonality, are diverse in their broad array of coloring. Some pieces are simple and technically undemanding; others are complex and virtuosic. Mary Mozelle…performs this first commercial recording dedicated to Gawthrop’s organ works with conviction, insight, energy, and technical mastery. The instrument, though quite different now than in its original conception, is magnificent, its many colors and brilliant ensemble well suited to the repertoire. Its clarity and presence are well captured within the reverberant ambience of the space. This recording is an excellent introduction and overview of Gawthrop’s organ music, some of which should be in every organist’s library."
James Hildreth, The American Organist - December 2008
"This is the world premiere CD dedicated to [Gawthrop's] music and it is largely successful. The very familiar Welsh tune Hyfrydol is given the King’s treatment in the animated and beautifully constructed five-movement Partita. Another highlight is certainly the Jerusalem Symphony, its four movements titled by quotes from the book of Isaiah that serve as the inspiration for the tone of the individual pieces...other works are fairly short one movement entities that have a unique and enclosed tonal message. I enjoyed them all very much...a 1928 Skinner instrument that has been virtually redone over the years, is a broad and robust instrument fully worthy of the type of registrations that Gawthrop desires... Mary Mozelle does everything humanly possible to take advantage of the space [in Princeton University Chapel]...Gawthrop’s music is worth investigating, and this is now the primary place to do so."
Steven Ritter, All Music Guide - September 2007
"[Gawthrop] has produced a substantial body of work for the [organ]...Gawthrop's writing for the organ is always effective...Its style is conservative and eclectic...performances leave nothing to be desired in technical polish and control, while the recorded sound captures the warmth and clarity of the instrument."
American Record Guide - July/August 2007
An all-Gawthrop disc may come as a surprise to the organ world, but listeners should be prepared to fall in love with these wonderful works. Already widely recognized as a choral music composer of the highest order, Daniel E. Gawthrop is an accomplished composer of organ music as well. An organist himself, and a great advocate for the instrument, Gawthrop knows how to make the most out of the wide range of sounds the King of Instruments has to offer. His compositional style is unique and often challenging, offering colorful, memorable melodies with great rhythmic variety. There is a also a joyful harmonic and melodic richness in his works. His widely varied thematic material is carefully interwoven to create a memorable listening experience. The composer and I worked closely throughout the course of this project, and I am grateful for the support and interpretive guidance he has provided.
This is the first commercial recording devoted entirely to the organ music of this significant American composer.
Mary Mozelle November 2006
A versatile keyboard artist, Mary Mozelle performs regularly in solo recitals and with orchestra. She has performed on the magnificent pipe organs in the British cathedrals of Exeter and Chester as well as throughout the United States, including New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Ms. Mozelle has appeared with conductors Leonard Slatkin, Robert Shaw and Mstislav Rostropovich, among many others, and was featured as an organ soloist in the 2000 Mozart Festival at The Kennedy Center under the baton of Artistic Director Christopher Hogwood. Mary Mozelle has served as Associate Organist at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. where she was regularly featured as a soloist in the Barham Organ Concert Series. She studied at The University of Chicago, The Chicago Musical College, and West Virginia University where she completed a Master of Music degree majoring in both Organ and Harpsichord performance. Her teachers have included Clyde English, Robert Reuter and Edward Mondello. In an effort to introduce the pipe organ to a broader audience, Ms. Mozelle travels to many churches throughout the United States to perform her special program "The Sights and Sounds of the Pipe Organ". This unique program is bringing her to the attention of an ever-widening circle of admirers impressed by both the narrated performance and her musical artistry. Her presentation of "Sights and Sounds" for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program in May 2003 received rave reviews from professional musicians and lay audience members alike and led to an invitation to present the program for the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
* * *
Composer Daniel E. Gawthrop was born in 1949 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has been the recipient of over one hundred commissions to write original music. His works have been published by Dunstan House, Warner Brothers (now Alfred Publishing Co.), Theodore Presser, Sacred Music Press and others. Gawthrop served for three years as Composer-in-Residence to the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (of Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.) and has been the recipient of four grants from The Barlow Endowment for Musical Composition. He has been commissioned by dozens of institutions including the American Choral Directors Association through their prestigious Raymond Brock Memorial series, and has had works première in the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle, and Washington National Cathedral. His choral pieces have been performed and recorded by such eminent ensembles as The United States Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Paul Hill Chorale, the American Boychoir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Cathedral Choral Society (of Washington National Cathedral) and literally hundreds of other groups in the U.S. and abroad.
In addition to his work as a composer, Gawthrop has been active as a broadcaster, clinician and adjudicator, organist, conductor, teacher and writer, including a period as music critic for The Washington Post. Gawthrop is a Life Member of the American Choral Directors Association, a member of Chorus America, a member of The American Guild of Organists, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the music fraternity. Gawthrop currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University.
The Princeton University Chapel Organ has a colorful history. When it was installed in 1928, it was heralded as revolutionary – especially the Contra Fagotto stop in the Pedal division, which was the first of its kind, and was created for this instrument. However, the acoustics of the new Chapel (which had been artificially deadened by porous tiles) proved to be inhospitable to the sound of the instrument. Just after its installation, a renewed interest in the organs and music of the Baroque Period swept the musical world, effectively putting the instrument out of style. In 1934 Carl Weinrich was appointed Director of Music at the University Chapel. An organist of considerable talent and a historian of great breadth, Weinrich was a proponent of the "Neo-Baroque" movement. Throughout his time at Princeton he focused on the music of Bach and, in the 1950’s, was able to engage the Aeolian-Skinner Company to modify the 1928 instrument to play music from the Baroque period with more clarity and authenticity. It was at this time that the Nave division was added to support congregational singing, since the building’s acoustics still proved to be problematic. In 1985 the porous tiles of the Chapel were sealed to form a hard surface, vastly improving the acoustics for the organ. In 1991 the N. P. Mander, Ltd. firm from London renovated the existing instrument by maintaining the clarity that Weinrich strove for, yet returning the instrument to its original orchestral character. Many new ranks (or sets) of pipes were added, ranks that had been removed were replaced, and all existing ranks were renovated. Today the instrument speaks into a room that is more conducive to its sound, and it speaks with pipes both old and new – paying homage to its past, yet engaging its future.
Partita on Hyfrydol
O Jerusalem – A Symphony for Organ