Dedicatory Recital of new Solo division at St. Stephen’s

Canon Mark Laubach, organist and choirmaster of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, will be playing a dedicatory recital on Sunday, March 29, showcasing the new solo division of the parish’s magnificent Berghaus pipe organ. The new Solo division includes six new ranks of pipes that imitate orchestral sounds – strings (Gamba and Gamba Celeste), flute (Doppelflöte), English horn, French horn, and English Tuba – and one old rank, the Clarinet (the pipes are 100+ years old!). The division also boasts a new set of Deagan tubular chimes and a Harp stop.

Here’s what else you can look forward to hearing on the program…

Eugène Gigout, Grand Choeur Dialogue – highlighting the new Solo English Tuba and French horn in dialogue with the full main organ.

Herbert Howells, Psalm Prelude, Set Two, #1 (Psalm 130, v. 1 – De profundis) – a deeply moving tone poem in the great Anglican tradition, showcasing this instrument’s noticeable “English accent!”

G. F. Handel, Water Music Suite (arr. by Carl McKinley, adapted by M. Laubach) – transcriptions of five tuneful movements from Handel’s beloved suite of dances written for the riparian entertainment of England’s King George I.

Leo Sowerby, Carillon – this lush and touching piece will give us a unique chance to hear the new chimes and harp.

Three hymn preludes will offer us a chance to sing the hymns, each followed by these exciting settings for organ.

Fantasy on “Praise to the Lord, (Lobe den Herren) by Neils Gade (19th century Danish composer)

Gospel Prelude on “What a friend we have in Jesus” by William Bolcom (a unique blend of black gospel, jazz, and contemporary classic organ composition by one of America’s most gifted living composers)

Toccata on “Now thank we all our God” by Egil Hovland (living Norwegian organist, choral conductor, and composer)

The dramatic conclusion of the program will be a single featured work, a spectacular masterpiece rarely performed live – Franz Liszt’s Fantasy and Fugue on “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam”. This is a truly “orchestral” work that will show off the full tonal and dynamic scope of our instrument. With plenty of virtuosic fireworks, this piece is sure to rivet the attention of all present, despite its length (just shy of 30 minutes long)!

The recital will begin at 4:00 PM on Sunday, March 29, 2009. The event is free and open to all, although attendees are encourages to make a free-will offering in support of the NEW HOPE CAMPAIGN of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. NEW HOPE is providing vital support to our companion diocese of Kajo Keji in the Sudan, as well as to social outreach ministries here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including St. Stephen’s Reach Ministry to those in need in our community.

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