For Two to Play (Organ 4-Hands)
CD. E.C. Schirmer Publishing #CD104. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.CD104).
Item Number: EC.CD104
Timothy & Nancy LeRoi Nickel
St. Alphonsus Church, Seattle
for Two to Play is the subtitle of two of the earliest known keyboard duets, a fantasia by the celebrated Worcester Cathedral organist Thomas Tomkins, and a plainsong verset by his friend Nicholas Carleton. Johann Albrechtsberger and his counterpoint student Beethoven each provided music in the Viennese classical style for two organists to play. In May, 1812, English publisher Vincent Novello finished copying a Duet for Organ by his friend Samuel Wesley, a duet which they performed together at London's Hanover Square Rooms.
This tradition of collegial music-making was carried on by two friends named Franz on an outing near Vienna in June, 1828. Before trying out the organ at the 12th century Cistercian Abbey in Heiligenkreuz, Schubert, and Lachner each prepared an organ work for the two of them to play.
In 1976, British composer Kenneth Leighton wrote his Martyrs: Dialogues on a Scottish Psalm Tune for Nicholas and Stephen Cleobury; and eight years later Frank Ferko wrote his Chant des Étoiles for two to play and dedicated it to the LeRoi-Nickel Duo. Duets for two players to play at the harpsichord or piano were common; organ pieces for two to play were less common. This recording is a sampling of four hundred years of friendly, collegial, shared music-making at the organ.
1. Samuel Wesley: Duet for Organ
2. Thomas Tomkins: A Fancy for Two to Play
3. Nicholas Carleton: A Verse for Two to Play
4. Frank Ferko: Chant des Etoiles
5. Ludwig van Beethoven: Adagio for a Musical Clock
6. J. G. Albrechtsberger: Prelude & Fugue in B-flat Major
7. Franz Schubert: Fugue in E Minor
8. Franz Lachner: Introduction & Fugue in D Minor
9. Kenneth Leighton: Martyrs: Dialogues on a Scottish Psalm Tune
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