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Music for Trombone and Organ

Hugo Distler, Frigyes Hidas, Sergei Rachmaninov, Philip Swanson


Rudolf Von Beckerath Organ



"This worth hearing, both for the repertoire and the excellence of the performers. Veni Creator Spiritus is an admirable addition to [the limited repertoire for trombone and organ]... The arrangement of Vocalise by Barbara Bruns works as well as the original... The beautiful and difficult [Distler] is elegantly played by Bruns... This CD is first rate in every respect."
The Diapason - January 2010
"Swanson produces striking results [in his Variations]...The harmonizations found throughout this haunting work are arresting and highly original...many of the chords work in quite unexpected but always affectively satisfying ways...Barbara Bruns' transcription [of Rachmaninov's Vocalise] is true to its spirit, and aptly exploits Swanson's roundly mellow trombone tone...the 1967 Beckerath organ is effectively captured in its warm, clarifying, and sonically gratifying space...Hidas' [work] brings this offering to a satisfying close...Barbara Bruns acquits herself admirably..."
Fanfare - November/December 2006
"Swanson's attractive tonal with modern flavors...Swanson maintains [a] beautiful tone quality...."
American Record Guide - November/December 2006
Repertoire for trumpet and organ is plentiful, and hundreds of recordings exist presenting works from the Renaissance up to the present day. Works for trombone and organ (a wonderful combination!) are much harder to come by. This recording presents two original compositions and one arrangement for trombone and organ as well as a solo organ work. Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus (1997) by Philip Swanson is a work for trombone and organ, written as part of Dr. Swanson’s doctoral dissertation at New England Conservatory. The Partita: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, Op. 8, No.1, a composition for solo organ by Hugo Distler, is considered among his greatest works for the instrument. Two other works for trombone and organ are presented: Domine, Dona Nobis Pacem by the Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas and Rachmaninoff’s famous Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 in an arrangement by Barbara Bruns. The recording was made at St. Michael’s Church in New York City, which houses one of the finest mechanical action pipe organs in the country built in 1967 by the German organ-building firm, Rudolf von Beckerath.

Philip Swanson has had a wide-ranging and distinguished career as a trombonist, composer, pianist, organist, conductor, and teacher. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory, and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School. He served as principal trombonist with the Miami Philharmonic for five years and has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Handel and Haydn Society, and numerous other orchestras and chamber ensembles. Currently, Dr. Swanson is Assistant Professor of Music at Salem State College where he teaches music theory and composition and conducts the Chamber Singers. He serves as Organist and Choir Director at the First Congregational Church in Rockport, MA, and appears frequently throughout New England as a jazz trombonist and pianist with his jazz trio. He is co-founder with Richard Given of Morgenmusik Chamber Brass, a brass collective featuring many of New England’s finest brass players. His most recent recording, "Lengthening Shadows" [MSR Classics MS1145], is collection of fifteen original works for solo piano.

Dr. Swanson performs on a S.E. Shires tenor trombone built by
S.E. Shires of Hopedale, MA

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Barbara Bruns, concert organist, was Associate Organist and Choirmaster at St. Michael’s Church in New York City from 2000–2005. The daughter of Methodist missionaries, Barbara was born and raised in Japan where she spent the first 18 years of her life. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, magna cum laude, from Augustana College and a Master of Music degree, with honors, from the New England Conservatory where she was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda honorary. She is the recipient of the "Outstanding Alumni Award" from Augustana College. Her organ studies have been with Yuko Hayashi, Harald Vogel, Arthur Poister, Tom R. Harris, and Kazuko Sacon. Recognized as an accomplished recitalist, accompanist, and conductor, she has concretized extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan and has performed as soloist for national conventions of the Organ historical Society, the American Guild of Organists, and the Association of Anglican Musicians. Currently Ms. Bruns is Minister of Music at the Parish of Christ Church in Andover, Massachusetts and Associate Conductor of the Boston Cecilia.


MSR Classics
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Solo Piano Reflections


Spoken Poetry with Trombone and Piano