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Nordic Journey – Volume III – Swedish Folkways and Classic Traditions
(Audio CD)
James D. Hicks

In this third release in the NORDIC JOURNEY series, American organist James D. Hicks explores music inspired by Nordic folk melodies.  This disc contains premiere recordings of several works by 20th-century Swedish composers, as well as new composers who are active today, including Fredrik Sixten and Mårten Jansson.  Performed upon the neo-classic inspired 1964 Andersen organ.

Digital Audio Compact Disc.

MP3 tracks from this album will become available for download in May, 2015.  The CD is in stock.

$17.98

Track Samples / Details


Details

Format: Digital Audio CD
Label:  PRO ORGANO
Catalog Number:  CD 7263
Length: 76’ 27”
Organ: Andersen, 1964
Venue: Skara Cathedral. Skara, Sweden
Recorded: 08/24/2013
Released: 05/25/2014
Producer: Frederick Hohman
Notes Author: James D. Hicks
Notes Language: English
Graphics Format: 12pg booklet, traycard, jewelbox
UPC #: 636077726323

© Copyright 2014 Zarex Corporation.

MP3 tracks from this album will become available for download in June, 2015.

James D. Hicks holds degrees in music from the Peabody Institute of Music of Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, and the University of Cincinnati. He has also studied at the Royal School of Church Music and is an associate of the American Guild of Organists. Dr. Hicks was appointed Director of Music at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown in 1985, and conducted nine of the church’s vocal and handbell choirs, and he also supervised and performd in the concert series, taught classes in music and liturgy, and served as organist. He oversaw the enhancement of the sanctuary’s seventy-eight ranks, 3,370 pipes Austin organ in 1996, and recorded a compact disk of organ music by twentieth-century American composers released by the Pro Organo label in 2003. James D. Hicks is a composer of organ, piano, choral, and handbell music, and has performed as an organ recitalist throughout the US, Europe, and Australia. Now retired from his role as church musician, today he makes his career solely as a touring organ recitalist. Dr. Hicks is a competing bagpiper and collector of Celtic instruments, and makes his home base in Morristown, New Jersey.. Since 2010, Dr. Hicks has delved into the largely obscure area of Nordic organ music, where he has become known as a leader in the renaissance of organ music from the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to commissioning new organ music from rising young Nordic composers, he is now touring regularly in Scandinavia and in America, where he is bringing Nordic organ music to recognition. He recorded 4 volumes in a series entitled Nordic Journey, where premiere recordings of many Nordic organ works are found.

01 • Toccata Festival (1996) • Fredrik Sixten • 2’5″
02 • Toccata och Fuga, c-moll (1953) • Jacob Nyvall • 7’11”
03 • Komme ditt rike, Partita för orgel (1974) • Roland Forsberg • 12’53”
04 • A Part of My Heritage (2012) • Mårten Jansson • 7’38”
05 • Two Mass Parts (1995) • Mårten Jansson • 6’32”
06 • Three Pieces (1992) • Uno Sandén • 7’55”
07 • Höstpastoral (1983) • Erland von Koch • 5’15”
08 • Tema, variationer och fuga over koralen 188 Jesus Christus Nostra Salus (1964) • Åke Kullnes • 12’53”
09 • Fantasy on Swedish Folk Songs (2001) • Kurt Wilkander • 4’57”
10 • Arioso • Fredrik Sixten • 2’4″
11 • Toccata and Fugue on BACH • Fredrik Sixten • 7’37”

From American Record Guide, March/April 2015 (written by Robert Delcamp)

Nordic Journey 3

This is Volume 3 in a four-volume survey of the highways and byways of organ music from Nordic countries, which have a rich heritage of organ building, music and playing. I was initially unsure of my response to an entire disc of music by unknown composers; but the excellent organ, clear recorded sound, assured playing, and interesting music soon had me hooked. A delightful surprise.

The music is generally conservative and neo-classical in style, with a strong Hindemith influence in several of the pieces. High points include the Nyall (sic.JH), Forsberg, Kullnes, and Jansson pieces. Hicks plays on the 1964 Poul-Gerhard Andersen organ in the cathedral in Skara, Sweden. His performances are clean, accurate, and engaging. His musical commitment to this repertoire is obvious in all of the pieces.

The booklet contains informative notes on the music and the organ specification. Listening to this program has made me want to explore the other volumes of the series.

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