MIDI Recordings by Organist James Pressler
"The flowing richness of these MIDI files transports one to the churches of France."
"Musicality that befits the music..."
"Who said MIDI can't make music?"
Préambule, Op. 31, No. 1
Serenely restful composition in 12/8 showing the Fonds d'Orgue (8 foot stops).
Cortège, Op. 31, No. 2
Somewhat grotesque notions seem to haunt this funeral procession for Foundation stops and reeds of all available pitches.
Complainte, Op. 31, No. 3
Flutes colored with the G. O. Nasard. Somewhat repetitive drone, as the title suggests.
Vierne, Louis: Epitaphe, Op. 31, No. 4
This introspective portrait of grief draws from very deep wells.
Prélude, Op. 31, No. 5
Sweetly evokes a wistful accordion or distant carousel.
Canon, Op. 31, No. 6
Slightly oriental flavor introduced because of the prominent augmented 2nd interval.
Méditation, Op. 31, No. 7
Somewhat mystical and chromatic, if one could improvise this way at will, one could win over most organist search committees.
Idylle mélancolique, Op. 31, No. 8
A reassuring rhythmic motiv alternates with slithery chromaticism--it sounds more wistful than melancholy to me.
Vierne, Louis: Rêverie, Op. 31, No. 10
Though similar in registration and technique to other meditative pieces in this collection, it is as unique as any heartbreak that could have caused it. The solo passages on the Montre are particularly expressive, the relentless slowness evokes acceptance.
Canzona, Op. 31, No. 12
The last piece in Book One of Opus 31 is marked Andante cantabile.
Légende, Op. 31, No. 13
This begins Book 2 of the 24 Pieces in Free Style. Gentle rocking motion throughout.
Scherzetto, Op. 31, No. 14
Frenzied fun for French flues.
Arabesque, Op. 31, No. 15
Use of whole-tone and diatonic scales in the melody, long held chords in the left hand with only the tenor moving about chromatically, all contribute to an almost hypnotic effect. Do not play while operating heavy machinery.
Choral, Op. 31, No. 16
A powerful motive alternating open fifths and thirds is sounded in increasingly lower regions of the manual reeds. This alternates with a sweeter, lilting section, and the expression pedal is utilized wih great effect.
Lied, Op. 31, No. 17
A 4-measure song weaves through various ranges of both manuals.
Marche funêbre, Op. 31, No. 18
A sombre key for a stern hearseload of grief.
Berceuse (sur les paroles classiques), Op. 31, No. 19
A gentle lullaby, in 2/4 instead of the usual 6/8 meter.
Pastorale, Op. 31, No. 20
This pastorale has a haunting quality that borders on the sinister. Carillon, Op. 31, No. 21
A two-measure pattern runs through most of the piece, in various voices and keys.
Epithalame, Op. 31, No. 23
Continuing the tradition of nuptial songs dating back to ancient Greece. Marked "Adagio sostenuto e molto espressivo" with alternate registration suggested for Harmonium.
Postlude, Op. 31, No. 24
Marked "Quasi fantasia," dramatic chords alternate with rapid manual passages, long trills and a fervent development section to bring the 24 Pieces in FreeStyle to a spirited end.
Notes by James Pressler who alway has a cheery word to say...