2018, Year of the...Organ?

2018, Year of the...Organ?
Organ Saint Thomas de Strasbourg; Photo: Duomaxw
Thus the 'King of Instruments' is pitted continually against the full forces of the modern symphony orchestra.
Gunther Schuller 

With world premieres of John Harbison's What Do We Make of Bach? given by soloist Paul Jacobs, Osmo Vänskä, and the Minnesota Orchestra, and Nico Muhly's Register given by soloist James McVinnie, James Conlon, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 2018 confirmed that the repertoire of works for orchestra and organ is evolving, and capable as ever of transcendence, power, and truth.

There are upcoming opportunities to experience these two exciting new works in 2019: Wayne Marshall, Ludovic Morlot, and the Seattle Symphony give the West Coast premiere of What Do We Make of Bach? March 21 and 23, while a few days earlier on March 14 and 16, McVinnie and Yannick Nézet-Séguin will give the East Coast premiere of Register with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

To honor these major additions to the repertoire, we offer the following selection of works for orchestra and organ, all composed in the past 60 years. In these works, festive lyricism, spiritual atmospheres, and more are on full display, all celebrating the past, present, and future of this timeless and colossal instrument.

Samuel Barber
Toccata Festiva
2+pic.2+ca.2+bcl.2/4331/timp.perc/str – 14'
Listen on YouTube

Paul Creston
Symphony No. 6 for Organ and Orchestra
2222/2220/perc/str – 25'
Listen on YouTube

Thierry Escaich
Concerto No. 1 for Organ
2222/2220/timp.2perc/str – 29'
Listen on YouTube
- movement I
- movements II, III

Sofia Gubaidulina
The Rider on the White Horse
3(2pic).1.4(Ebcl,bcl).1/3(3Wtba).4(pictpt,btpt).3.cbtba/8perc(incl. waterphone)/amp pf.amp hpd/str ( – 13'
Listen on YouTube

Betsy Jolas
Musique d'Hiver for Organ and Chamber Orchestra
Listen on SoundCloud

Tristan Keuris
Concerto for Organ and Orchestra
2+pic.2+ca.2+Ebcl+bcl.2/4300/timp.perc/hp/str – 22'
Listen on YouTube

Kaija Saariaho
Maan varjot (Earth's Shadows)
2(2afl)+pic.2+ca.2+Ebcl.2/ – 15'
Listen on Spotify

Gunther Schuller
Concerto for Organ and Orchestra
3333/5431/timp.2perc/hp.cel/str – 15'
Listen on Spotify

Terry Riley
At the Royal Majestic
2+3pic+afl.0.0+2bcl.asx.5+cbn/2.4+flg.2.2/timp.5perc/str – 30'
Listen on Spotify

Poul Ruders
Symphony No. 4 - An Organ Symphony
3(pic).3(ca).3(bcl).3(cbn)/4331/2perc/org/str ( – 31'
Listen on YouTube
- movement I
- movement II
- movement III
- movement IV


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