A Concert of Music for Organ and Other Instruments
The Presbyterian Church in Morristown presents organist Douglas Reed and musicians in a concert of music for organ and other instruments, featuring the works of William Albright (1944 – 1998), one of America’s leading composers of music for organ in the latter half of the twentieth century.
The Program includes works composed by William Albright and key influences on his composition:
Stipendium peccati (The Wages of Sin), for organ, piano, and percussion, with Luis Ortiz, piano and Will Richards, percussion, was written for the Hartt College of Music Contemporary Organ Music Workshop 1973.
Olivier Messiaen’s Appel Interstellair (Interstellar Call), Eric Reed, French horn. Olivier Messiaen was one of William Albright’s principal mentors.
Chopin’s Mazurka, Op. 17, no. 4, Luis Ortiz, piano, was one of Albright’s favorite pieces. Descending chromatic harmony and enigmatic beginnings and endings as in this piece appear in many of Albright’s works.
Halo, for organ and percussion, with Will Richards, percussion, was commissioned by the national convention of the American Guild of Organists and first performed at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle in 1978.
Romance, for French horn and organ, with Eric Reed, French horn was commissioned by John Holtz and premiered at the Hartt College International Festival of Contemporary Organ Music in 1981.
The King of Instruments: a parade of music and verse for organ solo, with John K. Albright narrating, presents an affectionate parody of the world of the pipe organ and organist.
Douglas Reed has performed William Albright’s organ music throughout America, Europe, and the Far East. Among his recordings of Albright’s music are performances of several Albright organ works on the University of Michigan’s Block M Records (Apple Music). After retiring as a Professor Emeritus of Music from the University of Evansville (Indiana), Reed taught as a visiting professor at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the University of Notre Dame before moving to New York City where he serves as organist of Riverdale Presbyterian Church in the Bronx.
William Albright (1944 – 1998), composer and organist, was a faculty member of the University of Michigan, where for many years he served as chair of the composition department. Best known for his keyboard works, he produced works for almost every medium, several of which involve electronic, visual and theatrical elements. During his brilliant composition, teaching and performance career, Bill earned many awards including the Queen Marie-José Prize, Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, and Koussevitzky Competition Awards. He was named Composer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists (1993). Bill commissioned and premiered many new works for organ. He performed and recorded the music of James P. Johnson, the complete piano music of Scott Joplin, and his own ragtime compositions. Bill is also longtime member, Rich Albright’s, older brother.