Dudley Buck Organ Music

Article excerpt

DUDLEY BUCK ORGAN MUSIC. James Hammann, organist. HI/35 organ of St. John's Episcopal Church, Quincy, III. (E. & G.G. Hook, Opus 326, 1866; electrification and minor tonal changes by Hook, Hastings & Co., Opus 2478, 1923; relocation, renovation, and enlargement by Quimby Pipe Organs, 2006). Raven OAR-916. Ravencd.com; contact Bill Van Pelt at bill@ravencd.com. This recording is a felicitous synthesis of music, instrument, and performer. Born to a wealthy family during a time of economic and cultural expansion in the United States, Dudley Buck, like many other American musicians of his era, received his significant musical training in Europe. One of this country's finest organ virtuosos and among the best composers of his day for the instrument, Buck combined Continental craftsmanship with American appeal in his music, giving it immediate success. James Hammann's program includes the Grand Sonata in E-flat, Op. 22, said to be the first major organ sonata by an American composer. The RondoCaprice, Op. 35, combines formal control with musical spontaneity. "The Star-Spangled Banner" Concert Variations, Op. 23, is the most popular of Buck's works in this form. The 18 Studies in Pedal Phrasing for the Organ, Op. 28, address various technical issues in a charming manner. These are the first CD recordings of numbers one, two, eight, and 14. The Second Sonata in G Minor, Op. …