CHICAGO GARGOYLE BRASS AND ORGAN ENSEMBLE

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EIN' FESTE BURG

EIN' FESTE BURG

Music of the Reformation

Johann Sebastian Bach, James Curnow, Felix Mendelssohn, Otto Nicolai, Heinrich Schütz

CHICAGO GARGOYLE BRASS AND ORGAN ENSEMBLE
Lev Garbar, Andrew Hunter and Joe Loeffler, trumpets
Abigail Black, Kathryn Swope and Renée Vogen, horns
Karen Mari and Ian Fitzwater, trombones
Josh Wirt, Serena Voltz and Lee Stofer, tuba
Michael Schraft, timpani

JARED STELLMACHER, organ
MARK SUDEITH, organ

STEPHEN SQUIRES, conductor

[MS1735]

$12.95

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PROGRAM NOTES
THE REFORMATION | 500 YEARS OF MUSIC
Drawn from two years of concerts and sessions celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, this festive album of brass and organ music follows the development of Ein feste Burg ist under Gott every 100 years in the music of Heinrich Schütz, Johann Sebastian Bach, Otto N icolai, Felix Mendelssohn and into the 21st century by James Curnow. An additional seven hymns of Martin Luther set by these great composers round out
the album in solo organ and solo brass ensemble concert recordings with three magnificent organs in three great and resonant spaces.

* * *

The Protestant Reformation is generally considered to have begun with the publication of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, which he posted in 1517 at All Saints’ Church (“Castle Church”) in Wittenberg, Germany. There were other activists, of course, but Luther himself is regarded as the catalyst of this schism in Western Christianity. His rejection of some fundamental teachings and customs of the Roman Catholic Church included specific criticism of the abuse of the practice of indulgences, by which the purchase of such an indulgence might achieve forgiveness for the sins of the deceased.

We know Luther the composer primarily from Bach’s oeuvre. He expressed his esteem for music in characteristic manner: “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise… But any who remain unaffected [by music] are clodhoppers indeed and are fit to hear only the words of dung-poets and the music of pigs.” Luther played the lute and the flute and sang tenor, but his reputation is based on his chorales for congregational use, some of which he adapted from Gregorian chant or the melodies of popular songs.

Many of these chorales are merely attributed to him, but scholars agree that he composed at least twenty five. Schütz, Buxtehude, Mendelssohn, Reger are other major figures who have used Luther’s chorale melodies, but many later composers such as Brahms and, more recently, Sofia Gubaidulina, James Curnow and Randall Faust have found inspiration at the same source.

Ein feste Burg itself has been set by major composers from Schütz, Telemann, Pachelbel, Buxtehude, Mendelssohn, Reger and Flor Peeters to less religious composers, including Claude Debussy and Richard Wagner. The theme has been quoted in opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer and Kari Tikka, and even as a fearsome motif for a German U-boat in the film score of 49th Parallel by Ralph Vaughan Williams.


CHICAGO GARGOYLE BRASS AND ORGAN ENSEMBLE
H. Rodney Holmes Founder and Artistic Director
The Chicago Gargoyle Brass was founded in 1992 by its Artistic Director, H. Rodney Holmes, as a chamber group of faculty and students at the University of Chicago, whose campus architecture boasts a charming variety of the ensemble’s namesake. By 2006, the ensemble had slowly professionalized and established a residency in the western suburbs at a major church with a full-time professional organist. Over the next five years, the group transformed itself into a specialized brass and organ concert ensemble, comprised of classically trained musicians, performing a wide variety of repertoire in an equally diverse range of settings. Well into its third decade, the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble maintains its position at the cutting edge of music for brass and organ, commissioning and performing new arrangements and compositions for that instrumental pairing. [ www.gargoylebrass.com ]

Craig Garner has been arranging music for more than 30 years, and has performed with the Boston Pops, Boston Opera Company Orchestra and other Boston area orchestras. As an arranger, Garner has for the last 20 years concentrated on music for brass instruments, having has published more than 120 works. During that time, he co-founded Dorm 40 Music, a publishing company specializing in music for brass. Garner focuses on arranging long-form symphonic works, not typically found in the brass ensemble repertoire. Garner attended the Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory, where he received a Master of Music degree.


2006 RODGERS ORGAN, OPUS 1038
Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Wheaton, Illinois
IV-Manual,
VI-Division Console
39 pipe ranks;
250 total stops

SCHANTZ ORGAN CO., OPUS 2300
Church of the Gesu, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
IV-Manuals,
VI-Divisions Console:
115 ranks; 90 stops

1982 CASAVANT FRÈRES ORGAN, LIMITÉE, OPUS 3544
First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois
IV-Manuals, V-Divisions:
Grand-Orgue, Positif,
Récit, Solo and Pédale
88 ranks; 73 stops
PROGRAM
JAMES CURNOW (b.1943)
REJOUISSANCE - FANTASIA ON “EIN’ FESTE BURG” (1987/2011)

HEINRICH SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) | Arrangement for Brass Quartet by Gary Olson
THREE BECKER PSALMS,” OP.5
Psalm 20: “Hear us, Lord”
Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul”
Psalm 46: “God is my refuge and strength”

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
“NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND”, BWV 659

“EIN FEST BURG”, BWV 80 | Transcription by H. Rodney Holmes
I. Chorus
VIII. Chorale

THREE LUTHERAN CHORALES
“Wir glaüben all an einen Gott”, BWV 680
“Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir”, BWV 687
“Fantasia super Komm, Heiliger Geist”, BWV 651

OTTO NICOLAI (1810-1849) | Arrangement by Craig Garner
ECCLESIASTICAL FESTIVAL OVERTURE ON “EIN’ FESTE BURG”, OP.31

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) | Arrangements by Craig Garner
ORGAN SONATA NO.6 IN D MINOR, OP.65 (1845)
I. Andante sostenuto
II. Allegro molto – Fuga
III. Finale: Andante “Vater unser im Himmelreich”

SYMPHONY NO.5 “REFORMATION”, OP. 107
IV. Andante con moto – Allegro vivace – Allegro maestoso
 



MSR Classics
NIGHTS BRIGHT DAYS
NIGHTS BRIGHT DAYS
Music and Transcriptions for Brass and Organ CHICAGO …

[MS1704]
FLOURISHES, TALES AND SYMPHONIES
FLOURISHES, TALES AND SYMPHONIES
Music for Brass and Organ CHICAGO …

[MS1598]