A Festive Proclamation - Organ Music by Adler, J.S. Bach, Ewazen, Franck, Handel and Widor [Aeolian-Skinner organ]
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WILLIAM NEIL, Organist and of the National Symphony Orchestra, is well- known in the Nation s Capital and the United States for his performances of traditional and contemporary organ music. Prior to his appointment in 2001 as Organist of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., he served as Organist of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago. He has performed as soloist with the National Symphony under the batons of Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Allessandro Siciliani, Christopher Hogwood, Iona Brown and Jose-Luis Garcia, and is featured in recordings on the Philips, Sony, Naxos, Summit and Newport Classic labels.
Neil is active as chamber soloist and continuo player with period and modern instrument ensembles, performing music from the 18th to 21st centuries. In concerts with the New York Trumpet Ensemble, Chicago s Millar Brass Ensemble, and Washington Symphonic Brass, as well as appearances at national and international festivals with many of the world's noted brass musicians, his reputation as The Trumpeters' Organist has become well- established. His devotion to music for organ and instruments prompted a Washington Post critic to refer to him as a unique keyboardist and an organist who has gone out of his way to play chamber music. Mr. Neil is the first Washington organist invited to perform on the Charles Fisk Organ at the Meyerson Center in Dallas, Texas. In 2001, he was a featured soloist in the inaugural concerts of the new Casavant Organ at Robert Jacoby Hall with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, performing Samuel Barber s Toccata Festiva. A champion of contemporary music, Neil brings to the listener two new works on this CD, Samuel Adler s Festive Proclamation and Eric Ewazen's A Hymn for the Lost and the Living.
William Neil grew up in Central Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University and Syracuse University. Inspired by the teaching of organists Leonard Raver, Arthur Poister, and Will Headlee, and harpsichordist Anthony Newman, Mr. Neil has enjoyed a career both onstage and in the classroom, serving the faculties at George Mason University and The Catholic University of America as organ instructor. Many of his former students hold prominent academic and church music positions in the U.S. and around the world.
The John Jay Hopkins Memorial Organ in the sanctuary of The National Presbyterian Church, Washington D.C., is considered one of the finest and last examples of its genre. It is truly an American Classic. Installed in 1969 by the distinguished Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston, Massachusetts, and dedicated in 1970, it is known by performers and audiences for its clarity and power, tonal diversity, and its ability to play the composite organ repertoire from all musical periods without compromise. Embellished by the church's ideal acoustics, it has become a favorite concert instrument among the world s most distinguished organists, and the grand space in which it resides is in constant demand by noted conductors, orchestras and choral ensembles as a performance and recording venue.
A striking cross section of William Neil's interpretive prowess...The Bach pieces are given atmospheric and loving performances. --Fanfare - May/June 2005
This instrument is one of the finest creations of the Aeolian-Skinner firm. William Neil offers a scintillating performance. --The American Organist, September 2005
William Neil fulfills his duties brilliantly. Gleaming and lifelike recorded sound adds immeasurably to the experience --Tim Page, The Washington Post
Top customer reviews
One selection is a very grating warbly soprano vocal. The first track is one of those "world premiere recordings"; the debut should have been delayed indefinitely.
This CD has some excellent selections but you won't want to listen to every track.