Through the E.M. Skinner Organ at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts, Dr. SharonRose Pfeiffer gives voice to works by master composers from the Baroque to the twentieth century. Recorded on super audio CD this disc creates a surround-sound experience, enabling listeners to hear the full effect of this organ. In a unique design by Nelson Barden & Associates of Boston, the organ pipes line the north and south side aisles the full length of the church, allowing the entire building to sing.
The program includes Resurrection: Lament, The Rising, The Ecstasy, Reflection by Larry King, Sonate der 94ste Psalm by Julius Reubke, Job for Organ, 6. Penitence and Realization by Petr Eben, Symphonie VI Op. 42: 1. Allegro by Charles-Marie Widor, Fantasia Super "Komm Heiliger Geist" BWV 651 by J.S. Bach, and Messe de la Pentecote: V. Sortie (Le vent d'Esprit) by Olivier Messiaen. Detailed program notes are provided.
“A pleasing organ recital in hi-res surround, and most deserving of this format. The E.M. Skinner organ in the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA, has been built so that the pipes run down the main aisles of the church, creating a magnificent surround sound effect for listeners. It gives a sense of the building singing as the voices come from different divisions which span the length of the church. This is the only pipe organ in the world with this design, so it makes it a natural for 5.0 hi-res surround sound reproduction, which is spectacular and often breathtaking. Larry King was a brilliant organist and composer who was for many years director of music at Trinity Church in Wall Street, NY. He begins his Lament, The Rising, The Ecstasy, Reflection with Gregorian chant and a sense of mourning. Reflection combines rejoicing on Easter Day with Allelulias from an earlier section of the work. The opening movement from the Sixth of the ten organ symphonies by Widor illustrates the multi-faceted orchestral sounds of the French Organ School, which established the organ as an important instrument again.
The selection by Petr Eben is from his eight-movement-with-narrator work, Job for Organ, a programmatic work illuminating the biblical book of Job. It reflects the inner knowledge of God's purifying fire in the heart. The Bach Chorale Prelude selected has grandeur and exuberance. Messiaen's Sortie is the final movement of his Messe de la Pentecote, and fills the church with lightning sound and dramatic impact. And the Reubke 94th Psalm which closes the disc, was written when the composer was only 19, and was inspired by Liszt's tone poems and Berlioz's symphonies. It presents the idea of the Psalm as program music and is considered a pinnacle work in all of organ literature.
Organist and harpsichordist SharonRose Pfeiffer has played throughout the U.S. and France...Spectacular - overwhelming amazing artistry - a SOUND FOR THE AGES!!! The E. M. Skinner organ of the CD is a masterpiece of balance of harmonics, voicing, scale and color that is just overwhelmingly breathtaking! This young lady is a true virtuoso with all the full implications of the word. She not only plays the music but it is with heart, soul and mind. She knows this music and presents it to us as the entity that it is. Oh my ... how my soul responds to the awesome created sounds of both music and organ. Those reeds shake this house ... it and my feet and heart and soul vibrate with the rich true sounds as wished by the composers. To end ... if you were looking to have one recording that showed the best organ, the best organ music from many eras, played by the very best artist ... THIS IS THE ONE!”
Soli Deo Gloria Harold Edward Wills
“This disc sets out to capture the spiritual output of a unique organ in the Church of the Transfiguration Orleans, Massachusetts (dedicated in 2000)...The organ is housed in mahogony chambers lining the upper part of the north and south aisles (about 100 feet from the west to the east along the nave). The chambers have a central corridor for access, and are louvred. This is the only such disposition in the world.
The first movement (Allegro) of Widor's Sixth Organ Symphony certainly has a heroic and passionate sound, Widor being at the acme of his new Romantic organ style...J.S Bach's 'Fantasia Super "Komm, Heiliger Geist" BWV 651 receives the jubilation it requires and is given a virtuoso ride.
The best of Pfeiffer's artistry is reflected in her 'Sortie' from Messiaen's 'Messe de la Pentecôte', thought by the composer to define the genius of his improvisation abilities. Sonically, it is the most interesting of the programme, with clear positioning of ranks in the composer's splashy fff chords which resonate nicely around the body of the church...
This is a fascinating adventure, with a new E.M. Skinner organ arising phoenix-like from being in long storage, and a tour de force of ingenuity in constructing an organ with a very high air pressure with its associated pipe-work far from the console....Recommended.”