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Catalogue of Recordings and Scores

Items are grouped into related categories. Please note that some MP3s and scores are available free of charge. New items are added now and again, so come back soon to have another look.

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ART OF FUGUE

In addition to the new recording of the Art of Fugue, Birolius Editions offers two scores (in different formats) of the completion composed by Michael Ferguson for the last movement, Contrapunctus XIV.




Bach / Art of Fugue / Michael Ferguson, organ — 2CD set

Cover of the Art of Fugue CD
The full description of this recording is found on the
Art of Fugue CD page.

You can return here afterward by hitting the Back button on your browser.   BACK TO TOP




Bach/Ferguson: Contrapunctus XIV — Organ score

Click to enlarge
Published by Holbrook & Associates, distributed by Birolius Editions. This newly-revised second edition has been professionally engraved for easy reading and convenient page turns. Laid out on three staves for the use of organists, it is printed on heavy, durable paper. Includes historical and performance notes.    BACK TO TOP
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Bach/Ferguson: Contrapunctus XIV — Open score

Engraved in open score, with each contrapuntal voice on a separate staff. Only modern clefs are used. Thematic analysis is provided, clearly noting every statement of the four themes, with inversions, stretti, and other details of contrapuntal technique. Bach's last notes are marked.    
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MP3 RECORDINGS

All the MP3 music files offered here can be downloaded to your computer, and played over your sound system. They are compressed at the rate of either 128 or 192 Kbps. Your computer must first be enabled with a sound card and speakers, and software to play these files. (See the
Information section for links to free MP3 software, and other downloading help.)

One or more files in each section will always be offered free of charge, and the others will always be offered at the low price of $1.98 each, regardless of length. Scores for some items are also available, listed immediately following the corresponding MP3 file.




MICHAEL FERGUSON IN PERFORMANCE

These performances are all taken from live organ recitals or other musical events. Various details are provided about the music, the organ builders, locales, and so on.




Bach: Praeludium pro Organo Pleno (also known as the St. Anne Prelude)
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:28, file size 443 KB)
From "A Musical Conversation with Johann Sebastian Bach" — a concert presented at University Baptist Church, Minneapolis, on May 21, 1999. Bach composed this as a prelude to go with the fugue listed immediately below. The organ was built in 1981 by Lynn Dobson as his Opus 15. It has 30 ranks.

(Complete performance—timing 8:46, file size 8.03 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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Bach: Fuga á 5 pro Organo Pleno (also known as the St. Anne Fugue)
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:45, file size 708 KB)
From the same concert at University Baptist Church mentioned above. Bach composed this fugue on a dare, as an example of something never seen before: a double fugue on three themes. The first theme is in the 'ancient style', and the other two themes are composed as two different types of gigue-theme.

(Complete performance—timing 6:40, file size 6.11 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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Bach/Grainger, arr. Ferguson:
Blithe Bells — A Free Ramble on Bach's Sheep May Safely Graze
Free Download of Blithe Bells
Click to listen, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
(Complete performance timing 4:50, file size 4.43 MB)
Percy Grainger says of his very loose paraphrase that it was "colored by the thought that Bach, in writing the melody in thirds that opens and closes the number, may have aimed at giving a hint of the sound of sheep bells." This comment gives no idea of just how far these particular sheep range over the musical landscape, starting from somewhere rather jazzy, passing by way of Bach's Prelude in D for organ, a tuba-chorus bump-and-grind, and Porgy and Bess, finally arriving in a pleasant vox-humana meadow, with arpeggios.

Arranged (or as Grainger would have said, 'dished-up') for organ solo by Michael Ferguson, for a 1995 Organist Showcase Recital at Northrop Auditorium, on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, sponsored by the Friends of the Northrop Organ. This instrument, containing 108 ranks, was completed in 1935 by Aeolian-Skinner as their Opus 892.  BACK TO TOP




Bach/Grainger, arr. Ferguson:
Blithe Bells — A Free Ramble on Bach's Sheep May Safely Graze

The complete organ score of Ferguson's arrangement, published by Birolius Editions.   BACK TO TOP
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John Ireland: Capriccio
Free Download of Capriccio
Click to listen, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
(Complete performance timing 7:10, file size 10.1 MB)
From the inaugural concert of the Minnesota Chapter of the Organ Historical Society, October 26th, 1997, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Minneapolis. This may be the only organ music ever to capture the comic verve of a ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ tale by P.G. Wodehouse. Written in 1911, Ireland’s rarely heard Capriccio is a virtuosic romp, complete with jolly tuba tunes. Performed on a 1908 Hinners organ, with additions in 1958 by Wicks, totalling 34 ranks.   BACK TO TOP
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Maurice Duruflé: Fugue in C Minor
Free Download of Fugue in C Minor
Click to listen, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
(Complete performance timing 4:30, file size 6.2 MB)
With this piece, Maurice Duruflé won a premièr prix in fugue at the Paris Conservatoire. The year was 1928, and Duruflé was then a remarkable young man of 26. Though his greatest works were yet to be written, this heretofore unknown fugue provides a clear sense of the already astonishing power of his artistic imagination.

The fugue is a test-piece, of course, and Duruflé was required to write a pure ‘Bachian’ counterpoint, within a common-practice harmonic framework, upon an assigned theme by Henri Rabaud. Like the other students competing, Duruflé was locked in a room from 6 am until 11:30 pm, provided with only pencil and music paper. No piano, no reference books. Under such circumstances, a real piece of music is about the last thing one would expect as a result. And yet, that is what Duruflé created, and it compels our attention.

This world premiere recording of Duruflé’s fugue was made in December, 2004, at the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The organ was built by Gabriel Kney in 1987, and contains 56 ranks.
Free Download of organ score of Fugue in C Minor
Click to view file, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
( file size 3.1 MB)
Duruflé’s fugue was published by Heugel in 1928. It has since passed into the public domain. The score offered here is laid out as an organ performance score, omitting for the sake of readability and simplicity the C clefs and thematic analysis of Duruflé’s original open score.

Free Download of the original open score of Fugue in C Minor
Click to view file, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
( file size 3.7 MB)
Duruflé’s fugue was published in an edition presenting all four of the fugues awarded a premièr prix in 1928. The other winning fugues were composed by Georges Derveaux, Denis Joly, and Henriette Roget. It was quite unusual for four firsts to be awarded in the same year. Even so, Duruflé's fugue stands forth as a remarkable achievement.

This open score presents Duruflé's own thematic analysis, detailing his use of the given theme and the countersubject he created for it, the various divertissements, and the numerous stretti that accumulate at the powerful climax of the last page.  
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CHORAL MUSIC OF MICHAEL FERGUSON

These performances are all taken from private recordings, live concerts, or other musical events. Various details are provided about the music, the text, locales, and so on.




Ferguson: Audivi vocem (Responsory for the season of Advent)
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:44, file size 700 KB)
Based on a Gregorian chant, this piece alternates paraphrases of the chant set for SSATB chorus with quotes of the chant melody itself. Published by Aureole Editions.

(Complete performance—timing 3:51, file size 3.53 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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Ferguson: Christus factus est
Free Download of Christus factus est
Click to listen, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
(Complete performance timing 2:39, file size 2.43 MB)
This work was composed for a Service of Tenebrae at the University Episcopal Center, Minneapolis, to follow Francois Couperin's Trois Lecons de Tenebres. It is a paraphrase not of the traditional chant melody, but of its prosodic rhythms. Published by Paraclete Press.

It is here performed at the Cathedral of St. Paul (in St. Paul, Minnesota) by the UEC Chapel Singers, M. Ferguson, director and organist.   
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Ferguson: Justorum animae
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:34, file size 544 KB)
A setting of the offertory text for the Feast of All Saints, this was another work composed for the University Episcopal Center Chapel Singers. Same performers and locale as for Christus factus est, above. Also published by Paraclete Press.

(Complete performance—timing 2:20, file size 2.13 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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BAROQUE MUSIC, SYNTHESIZED

Here are some synthesizer takes of music by Handel and Bach, some very elaborate, some quite simple.




G. F. Handel: Overture from Concerto Op. 3, No. 4
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:41, file size 649 KB)
From his sparkling set of Opus 3 Concertos, this overture has all the splash of Handel's grand manner, with a little fugue in the middle, featuring something that sounds a lot like a harmonica...

(Complete performance—timing 3:54, file size 3.58 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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J. S. Bach: Contrapunctus 9 from Art of Fugue
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:27, file size 432 KB)
This fugue has been very popular with transcribers. Many music lovers will remember a certain a capella choir that sang it in a jazz idiom. As recorded here, with each part overdubbed, more trills are heard than are normally attempted.

(Complete performance—timing 2:42, file size 2.48 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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‘BAROQUE’ AND BEYOND, SYNTHESIZED

Many of these compositions are written in a baroque idiom, either for recorder consorts, keyboard, or specifically for the medium of the synthesizer.




Ferguson: Fugue in G
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:25, file size 394 KB)
This came into being as a teaching piece. The theme was developed by the student (Ross Erickson) by elaborating on the theme of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and the working out was guided by Michael Ferguson.

(Complete performance—timing 1:25, file size 1.30 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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Ferguson: Pavane
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:28, file size 447 KB)
Composed as the first of a group of two movements (the Galliard follows next, below), the instrumentation is for two groups of recorders, like a baroque concerto grosso. Group one has four soloists, arranged SATB; group two has six parts, arranged SAATTB, with perhaps three to a part. When the groups join together, the contrapuntal writing is in ten real parts.

(Complete performance—timing 1:11, file size 1.08 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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Ferguson: Galliard
Free Download of Galliard
Click to listen, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
(Complete performance timing 1:00, file size 945 KB)
This is the movement meant to follow the Pavane, above. Whereas the Pavane was tuneful and easy going, this Galliard is a wild ride through contrasting meters and keys. But why would a composer write two short movements for such a large group of twenty-some instrumentalists? Answer: for the fun of it, as something challenging to be performed by members of the American Recorder Society at one of their annual meetings.  
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Ferguson: Canon at the Twelfth
Free Download of Canon at the Twelfth
Click to listen, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
(Complete performance timing 0:34, file size 532 KB)
Composed as another teaching piece for a small choir. ‘At the Twelfth' means that the following voice of the canon begins its response twelve notes lower than the leading part. The inner parts are written so as to fill out the harmony in a modal style.  BACK TO TOP




Ferguson: Canon 4 in 1
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:35, file size 557 KB)
Taken from a collection of fourteen canons called Inventioni Curiosi per Sonar, and recorded on a Macintosh computer, with an unnerving steadiness of tempo. The ‘4 in 1’ part of the title refers to the four parts, each entering one at a time, like Row, Row, Row Your Boat, only with a much more complicated melody.

(Complete performance—timing 2:37, file size 2.40 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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MUSIC OF CHARLES TOURNEMIRE, SYNTHESIZED

Charles Tournemire (1870-1939) was a unique figure in French organ music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A strong influence on the generation of Messiaen, Alain, Duruflé, and Langlais, his music blended an extreme form of late romanticism with the then recently rediscovered modality of the Gregorian chant. Many organists consider him to have been the greatest organ improvisor of the twentieth century. While his larger works for organ cannot make the transition to synthesized sound—dependent as they are on the superb qualities of the best French symphonic organs of his day—his smaller and lighter organ works do quite gracefully, indeed.

While you are listening to the free download of Communion 24, you may wish to make a visit to
Tom Walker’s website, which includes his entire series of pastel triptych panels created in response to Tournemire’s monumental cycle of organ music, L’Orgue Mystique. Walker’s series of panels, which he calls The Mystic Image, has traveled the globe, and brought greater attention to Tournemire’s music worldwide.




Tournemire: L’Orgue Mystique, No. 10, Offertoire
LISTEN to a sample (timing 1:15, file size 1.14 MB)
This expansive music seems to take place deep beneath the ocean waves. Like much of Tournemire’s music, this Offertory has a sense of time standing still.

(Complete performance—timing 4:59, file size 4.56 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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Tournemire: L’Orgue Mystique, No. 24, Communion
Free Download of Communion 24
Click to listen, or right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to download.
(Complete performance timing 2:31, file size 2.31 MB)
This suite was composed for use on the Sunday after the Ascension. The serene melody of this hypnotic communion piece is given to a clarinet-like sound, with the ostinato quietly providing rhythmic support in the background.   BACK TO TOP




Tournemire: L’Orgue Mystique, No. 15, Offertoire
LISTEN to a sample (timing 0:34, file size 543 KB)
This music, as so much of Tournemire’s, may remind some listeners of the radio show devoted to ‘Music from the Hearts of Space’. Plucked-string sounds predominate here, with harmonized phrases to round off the various sections.

(Complete performance—timing 3:45, file size 3.43 MB)  BACK TO TOP
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All website materials (C) 2008 Michael Ferguson, unless otherwise noted.
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