Paul Freeman Introduces...Vol. 11
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An recording of major works for organ and orchestra given definitive performances by Marilyn Mason.

Emma Lou Diemer is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. She received her composition degrees from Yale and Eastman and also studied in Belgium and at Tanglewood. She is professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught from 1971-1991. The Concerto in One Movement for Organ and Chamber Orchestra ("Alaska") was written in May, 1995 for Madeline Schatz and the Arctic Chamber Orchestra, and premiered January, 1996 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The soloist was the composer. Marilyn Mason has had a long association with Leo Sowerby's Classic Concerto for Organ and Strings for she gave the work its European premiere in 1957, and in preparation for this she worked closely with the composer himself. Petr Eben is one of the leading composers of the Czech Republic. He studied at the Prague Academy of Music. In 1955, he took up a teaching post in the History of Music Department at Prague's Charles University. In 1978-79, he was professor of composition at the Royal Northern College of Music Manchester. From 1990, he became professor of composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and President of the Prague Spring Festival. Of the Organ Concerto No. 2, he writes: "After the first organ concerto, which is more of an extended symphony with a concertante organ part, I wanted this time to write a true concerto for organ and orchestra. One of the problems of an organ concerto is that the organ, unlike all the other solo instruments, has a potential in sound equivalent, or nearly so, to that of the orchestra; in exposing both partners at their full volume, there is a risk of overloading the texture. Therefore, in many cases I have placed both elements on different planes, contrasting them not only in their thematic material, but also in time signature and tempi. Elsewhere, I have divided melody and accompaniment between both partners, so that either the organ or even the orchestra takes the role of a melodic instrument, and the orchestra is often written as a unison voice." William Bolcom dedicated Gospel Preludes, Book IV to Marilyn Mason, who premiered the three hymn-fantasies at the University of Michigan in 1986. The composer writes: This is the last collection of my Gospel Preludes, bringing the total to twelve. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child was a reaction to the brutal end of Marvin Gaye, whose Motown career went beyond the more or less usual stereotype and whose personal life led to his murder. Sweet Hour of Prayer always has had a febrile intensity for me, and I set it with that mood in mind. The final is a combined fantasy on O Zion Haste and a gospel-influenced 5/4 setting of How Firm a Foundation, which caps the whole series." Bolcom's score stands amidst an impressive pile of 20th century compositions brought to life by the energy and determination of Dr. Mason.
Contents:
Emma Lou Diemer, composer
Concerto in One Movement for Organ and Chamber Orchestra "Alaska"
Czech National Symhony Orchestra, Paul Freeman, conductor, Marilyn Mason, organ

Leo Sowerby, composer
Classic Concerto for Organ and Strings
Czech National Symhony Orchestra, Paul Freeman, conductor, Marilyn Mason, organ

Petr Eben, composer
Organ Concerto No. 2
Czech National Symhony Orchestra, Paul Freeman, conductor, Marilyn Mason, organ

William Bolcom, composer
Gospel Preludes, Book IV
Czech National Symhony Orchestra, Paul Freeman, conductor, Marilyn Mason, organ

Review:
"Mason remains a champion of cutting-edge organ works." (The American Organist)
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