Audio and Video of the Beckerath Organ (1975) at LCH
“Tierce en taille” by François Couperin
Katherine Crosier plays “Tierce en taille” by François Couperin (1668–1733) from his Messe pour les Paroisses. This piece shows off the organ’s lyrical French cornet (8′, 4′ 2′, 2-2/3′ and 1-3/5′ stops). Rudolf von Beckerath told Carl Crosier that it was his favorite piece of music and requested that it be played at the dedication concert in May 1975.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) published four volumes of his own keyboard music in a series titled “Clavierübung” (Keyboard Practice). For the third volume, his first published organ music, Bach created a brilliant cycle of twenty-seven masterworks united by a great musical and theological design. Bach published it in 1739, the bicentennial of Martin Luther’s sermon at Leipzig’s Thomaskirche and of the city’s official acceptance of Luther’s Augsburg Confession.
Clavierubung III consists, in its entirety, of a monumental prelude, twenty-one chorale preludes, four duetti and the closing fugue. The audio files come from an unedited, live recording of the organ portion of a concert called “The German Organ Mass” presented on March 11, 1979, at LCH with the Bach Chamber Choir and Carl and Katherine Crosier on the Beckerath organ. They provide examples of the wide range of organ registrations available on the Beckerath.
Prelude in E-flat major (BWV 552/i) This piece refers to the Trinity both in its key signature of three flats and in the formal structure of three themes. It shares the same BWV number with the final prelude, and the two are often performed together, nicknamed “St. Anne.” The prelude, played here by Katherine Crosier, features a French-style overture characterized by dotted rhythms, interspersed with three expositions, all demonstrating the many colors of the principal chorus.
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit (BWV 669) Katherine Crosier uses the Dulzian stop on the Swell manual for the soprano melody.
Christ, aller Welt Trost (BWV 670) The melody is in tenor range and is played by Katherine Crosier on the French-style cornet on the Great manual (decomposé: 8′, 4′, 2-2/3′, 2′, 1-3/5′).
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit (BWV 671) This “plenum” setting of the Kyrie, played by Katherine Crosier, shows off the principal chorus, with the melody in the pedal, with the addition of the Fagott.
Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehre (BWV 675) For this lively setting of the Gloria is in F-major, Katherine Crosier plays the melody on the pedal Trichterschalmei, with the right hand on the Swell Terzian (8′, 1-3/5′, 1-1/3′) and the left hand on the Great Quintadena 16′.
Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehre (BWV 676) This chorale prelude alternates a transparent trio texture with the so-called German cornet (8′, 4′, 2′, 1-3/5′, 1-1/3′) on the Swell. Because the organ only has two manuals, Katherine Crosier uses thumb pistons to change the registration quickly.
Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehre (fughetta) (BWV 677) Carl Croiser plays the fughetta entirely on the Swell and uses the small mixture (III).
Dies sind die heiligen zehn Gebot (BWV 679) Carl Crosier plays this lively setting of the Ten Commandments entirely on the Great Trompete.
Wir glauben all an einen Gott (BWV 680) This large setting of the Creed is performed by Carl Crosier on the principal chorus with an added Terzian.
Vater unser im Himmelreich (BWV 683) This small setting of the Lord’s Prayer is played by Carl Crosier on the 4′ flute on the Great manual.
Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam (BWV 684) Katherine Crosier plays this prelude on Christ’s baptism with the melody on the Great Trompete coupled to the pedal, accompanied by the small mixture (III) on the Swell.
Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (BWV 686) This large setting of Psalm 130, “Out of the depths have I cried to thee,” is one of only two works which have double pedal. Katherine Crosier performs this grand motet in 6 voices, with four voices in the hands and two voices in the pedal.
Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der von uns den Zorn Gottes (BWV 688) Carl Crosier plays this fiendishly difficult trio for communion with the pedal melody on the Trichterschalmei, left hand on the Swell Regal, and right hand on the Great (8′, 2-2/3′, 1-3/5′).
Triple Fugue in E-flat major (“St Anne”) (BWV 552/ii) The concluding fugue is nicknamed the “St. Anne” because of its resemblance to the hymn tune, “O God our Help in Ages Past,” despite the facct that the tune by William Croft was probably not known outside the British isles. It is a triple fugue with three subjects, each increasing in rhythmic complexity, played on the principal chorus and ending with added reeds.
“Fugue in G Major, BWV 577 (The Gigue)” by J.S. Bach
Joey Fala, student of Katherine Crosier, plays Bach’s Fugue in G, commonly nicknamed “Gigue.” It is a favorite for performers and audience alike because it provides an opportunity for the organist to “dance on the pedals and manuals.”