Michel Chapuis (1930-2017)
Michel Chapuis was a French organist. He was well known for his interpretations of French Baroque and German Baroque organ music. He devoted his career to historically informed performance. He was also one of the masters of improvisation on the pipe organ. Chapuis served as the organist of many churches including St. Severin, Notre Dame, and St. Nicolas de Champs. Michel Chapuis was the titular organist of the Royal Chapel of Versailles from 1995-2010.
Here is an improvisation by Michel Chapuis on the chorale “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (How brightly shines the morning star) from a live performance in 2001. I hope that you enjoy it.
Jonathan Scott was born in Manchester, England. He has a varied performing career as an organist doing solo recitals and performing with orchestras such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic. Jonathan also performs with his brother Tom Scott in a piano duo called the Scott Brothers Duo. With his brother Tom Scott, Jonathan Scott has released many recordings to critical acclaim on their own label entitled the Scott Brothers Duo label.
Here is a recording of an arrangement for organ solo by Jonathan Scott of Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmila overture recorded at the organ of Lancaster Priory, and another recording of an arrangement by Jonathan Scott for organ solo of Mozart’s overture to the Marriage of Figaro recorded on the Marcussen Concert Organ of Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK. I hope that you enjoy these performances.
Michel Chapuis (1930 – )
Michel Chapuis is a well known French organist and pedagogue. He studied organ with Marcel Dupre (who was one of the most famous organists of the 20th century, a fine teacher, and one of the greatest extemporizers of all time). Michel Chapuis is renowned for his interpretations of French baroque and German baroque music.
Here is a recording of Michel Chapuis improvising a prelude and fugue in stylus phantasticus (a style of music that North German organists invented. The music is full of sudden virtuosic flourishes and it is almost like a written out improvisation). The prelude and fugue that Michel Chapuis is playing here is in a style similar to that of the North German organists during the baroque period.
The recording begins at 0:40. Enjoy!
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is known as a child prodigy (as a performer and as a composer). He played the piano, viola, violin, harpsichord, and organ. Mozart began composing around the age of 5. He is known today for works such as the “Eine Kliene Nachtmusik” suite, the “Jupiter” Symphony, his piano sonatas, and his Requiem among other works.
Mozart also composed pieces for the pipe organ. Mozart only wrote a few organ compositions, and among those compositions the Fantasie in f minor is a masterpiece. The Fantasie is a massive piece that can hold its own alongside the great organ works of J.S. Bach. It is a very difficult piece to play musically. Listen to all the changes of mood and the various tonal colours the organist in this recording gets out of the organ.
Here is a recording of Mozart’s Fantasie in f minor for pipe organ. I am not sure who is playing the piece in this recording. I hope you enjoy this piece.
Gerre Hancock (1934-2012) was an American organist, composer, and one of the great masters of improvisation on the organ.
Here is a recording of Gerre Hancock improvising on the organ. It is one of a series of nine improvisations that is part of a program called “Praise the Eternal Light.” The improvisations were inspired by the cathedral windows of the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford Conneticut where Gerre played for these recordings.
The recording of the improvisations is available from the webstore at http://www.proorgano.com. Search for item #7233 and you will find it.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a German composer and piano virtuoso. He is known by many classical music lovers as the composer of the famous 5th Symphony and the 9th Symphony with its ‘Ode to Joy.’
After Beethoven’s death, musicologists discovered five pieces by Beethoven for musical clock or mechanical organ.
Musical clocks were very popular in the 18th and 19th century among aristocrats. J. Haydn, W.A. Mozart, and G.F. Handel also wrote music for musical clocks.
Here is Beethoven’s suite, Fünf Stücke für Flötenuhr:
- Allegro non più molto
- Adagio assai
- Scherzo, allegro