Saturday, December 02, 2006

A new Spivey Hall CD by organist Alan Morrison

In May 2005, distinguished American organist Alan Morrison -- a welcome and regular Spivey Hall guest artist, head of the organ deparment at the prestigious Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia, and son of two wonderful friends of Spivey Hall, Don Morrison and Clayton State University professor emerita of music Jeannine Morrison (a close friend of Emilie Spivey) -- gave a recital of works by American composers that was recorded live in concert. Copies of the recording, AMERICAN VOYAGE, arrived here last week, and I was eager to hear the music again.

The CD opens with Paul Creston's engaging Suite for Organ, Op. 70, includes Harold Stover's Mountain Music, and closes with two works by Dan Locklair: In Mystery and Wonder (The Casavant Diptych) and VOYAGE, A Fantasy for Organ (the latter of which was actually previously released on one of Alan's earlier CDs, no longer available). Several of the recorded selections -- Daniel Crozier's Cantilena for Organ, Eric Sessler's Fantasy for Organ Solo, and Larry King's Resurrection -- are fairly rare since they are published only in manuscript, and appear here for the first time on CD.

This CD represents quite a diversity of American compositional voices as well as highly original writing for the organ. Alan's superb performances of these works reveal many different characters of Spivey Hall's magnificent 4,413-pipe, 77-rank, 3-manual Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ, built by Fratelli Ruffatti in Padova, Italy. In addition to some wonderfully extroverted moments, the disc features quiet, contemplative, introspective passages, too. Liner notes by Alan and a Voyage note by Dan Locklair offer interesting insights to enhance your listening experience.

This CD is a production of Atlanta's own ACA Digital Recordings, Inc. -- namely, the excellent team of Tommy Joe Anderson and Fred Horton, who have recorded the vast majority of Spivey Hall performances heard on local radio broadcasts as well as on National Public Radio's Performance Today. Tommy Joe and Fred have been with Spivey Hall from the very beginning, know how to record music here like no one else, and have played a major role in the Spivey Hall success story, as the music they record here continues to be disseminated over the airwaves and in commercial releases such as AMERICAN VOYAGE. We also owe lasting thanks to Tommy McCook of Widener & Co., curator of the Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ, whose invaluable expertise supports all of our organ performances and recordings. To Alan and the entire production team, congratulations!

AMERICAN VOYAGE is available at Spivey Hall for $15 (including sales tax). To purchase a copy, just visit the Spivey Hall box office, or call (678) 466-4200 with your credit card number and we'll be glad to mail you a copy.


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