Pipedreams Archives - Heidi Bender

Tag Archives for " Pipedreams "

April 29, 2012

Giving organ music a chance

Three years ago I did not know that Bach was an organist.

When I decided to become an organist three years ago, I knew very little about organ music. I had heard hymns accompanied by organ at my childhood church and at my current church (until they switched to praise band format).

Early on in my lessons, I learned the world of organ music is vast and greatly extends beyond hymns.  With the Internet, there is easy access to any type of music of interest.  Perhaps, you have never heard pipe organ music besides in horror movies. I encourage you to check out organ music, especially if you have not given it much consideration previously. Keep in mind that all performances are not equal! Do not let a bad performance on YouTube discourage you.

I hope you have not dismissed organ music without ever giving it a chance! 

I highly recommend Pipedreams. Pipedreams is produced by American Public Media. Each week they air a 2 hour program on many public radio stations. Most (if not all) of the music is recorded on pipe organs. A list of stations is available on their website. The programs are also available for listening on their website. I usually listen to the program while at work.

Organlive.com streams organ music continuously. Some of the recordings are not great, but you can request any piece they have in their library to be played.

The Joy of Music with Diane Bish is broadcast weekly on TV (check website for stations). Diane Bish is very talented and provides me with inspiration. Her performances are wonderful and often include some history of the piece or that where she is preforming. I enjoy seeing the old European churches that have maintained their pipe organs.

I also suggest checking out live events in your area at churches (that still have and use their organs) or performances put on by college/university students. I have attended a couple of recitals put on by students from the University of Michigan. These students will not disappoint!

April 7, 2012

Lift High the Cross (Hymn)

Have you ever heard a song and unexpectedly felt great delight?

This happened to me this week when listening to the Pipedreams program: Prayers and Alleluias which aired on April 2, 2012.  With Easter being tomorrow, the pieces in this program are those usually preformed around Easter. The hymn Lift High the Cross caught my attention. Astoundingly, I was not familiar with this tune before hearing it this week. (perhaps, I have heard it previously in at church and do not recall).

This recording is spectacular and majestic. A choir sings the hymn. The organ elegantly accompanies conveying the emotion of the hymn. The combination of voice and organ is marvelous. The message in the lyrics is powerful.

To hear this recording of Lift High the Cross go to Pipedreams and then click on the link to listen to Hour 2. Lift High the Cross is the first piece played in hour 2 which is followed by a trumpet ensemble playing variations of this hymn.  The lyrics and information about the tune can be read from the Psalter Hymnal.

Of course, there are videos of  Lift High the Cross on YouTube. I did not find any as grand as the recording on Pipedreams. I listened to several YouTube videos and they did not touch me in the same way. I highly recommend checking out the Pipedreams recording.

The tune name is CRUCIFER. Jesus was crucified for us. I will end with the verse under the title of Lift High the Cross my hymnal John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Myself.” (American Standard Version).