It doesnt get much more local than this: a CD of music by a Tacoma composer, played by a Tacoman on a Tacoma instrument. With The Organ Sings, just released by Raven music, thats exactly what you get. The CD features organ music by David Dahl, former organist at Christ Episcopal Church on North K Street, played on the famous Brombaugh organ there by the organ builders brother, Mark Brombaugh the churchs current organist. And while that might also sound a bit cozy and in-house, every track on this CD thoroughly deserves this recognition, and they sound all the better for being played on the marvelous instrument that many of them were written for.
As youd expect, theres plenty of sacred work, especially variations on hymn tunes. Dove of Peace explores the deliciously reedy stops, while Lobt Gott Den Herren alternates between the shiny octave and trumpet on the great manual and the soft, woody flutes on the positive. In Cwm Rhondda Dahl hits a compelling compositional voice, somewhere between baroquely comforting and thoughtfully innovative, to a triumphant finish. Some, like Es ist Ein Ros, are just harmonic reworkings of the tune, though pretty; others invent something completely new.
But theres plenty of secular as well. The English Suite gives one movement each to major stop families on the instrument stately diapasons, brilliant trumpet, baroque-style flutes. Not everythings easy to listen to: the Jigg, in particular, gets weightily contrapuntal. But the Italian Suite, a kind of medieval-meets-modern, paints beautiful windows of tone.
Even better, for the organ aficionados among us, is that every single registration is listed in the extensive jacket notes.
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568 email@example.com