This solo recording of "The King of Instruments" has been over 5 years in the making, and explores a fresh fusion of styles centering on one of the most powerful works in the repertoire, the "Passion Symphony", Op. 23 by Marcel Dupré. Originally improvised on Philadelphia's famous Wanamaker Organ, its four-movements were so extraordinary, it was transcribed for publication.
I want to record this work on an organ which can bring out both the French elements of this music as well as the orchestral side (which comes from its conception on perhaps the largest and greatest orchestral-style organ in the world: Wanamaker’s). This has not been done before. It’s taken years to find the right instrument and acoustic, and I’m thrilled that I’ve found it just south of Luxembourg City at St. Martin’s Church in Dudelange: a celebrated organ which has both German Romantic and French Symphonic styles in one, along with some English elements.
Also featured is a monumental work from North America, the Introduction, Passacaglia, and Fugue, Op. 149 by Healey Willan. Willan was challenged by a friend who suggested German superiority in writing a passacaglia, and it contains just enough German Romantic influence to overshadow its Canadian/British origins - well, almost! Again, this work has never been recorded on an instrument capable of bringing out its German Romantic core. This, along with my own German-influenced interpretation, is why I want to record it on the Dudelange organ.
I believe strongly in new music. How wonderful and important to keep our heritage alive! Thus, I’m rounding out the program with a commissioned piece by renowned British composer Philip Moore inspired by Pastorales from the French symphonic tradition.
Lastly, I’ll the include the premiere recording of "Ride in a High Speed Train" by contemporary Dutch composer Ad Wammes, whose experience with and influence from electronic music, pop music, and minimalism shine forth in this fun, light piece.
I’m delighted to use Kickstarter as a way of bringing people together within this project. It allows those interested an opportunity to take part in this project in a deeper way. You may read about these levels in the Rewards column. I'm also using Kickstarter to spread the word about this recording, and facilitate pre-orders. The realm of recordings has changed so significantly over the past few years, projects like mine now face considerable upfront costs, which pre-orders help alleviate.
I’ve chosen not to compromise quality in any way in this project, and so I am thrilled to have one of the most acclaimed, award-winning organ recording engineers in Europe as my recording engineer, Christoph Frommen.
I am pleased to have this recording released on one of the industry's most exciting independent record labels, Acis Productions (www.acisproductions.com). Headed by Geoffrey Silver, Acis has received considerable critical acclaim.
I am giving a very special dedication to this recording: to my very dear grandmother, Gloria Roberts, who passed away just a few weeks ago. She was one of the most inspiring and loving people I’ve ever known, and she adored music. She couldn’t have been more supportive of me. In fact, the first time I visited the Wanamaker Organ, on which Dupré improvised his "Passion Symphony" which I am recording, was when she took me there. I think it is fitting to complete this project in loving memory of this great, influential woman.
$4,000.00 - Recording with an engineer on location in Luxembourg, editing the CD
$4,500.00 - Production, design, pressing and release by Acis
$1,000.00 - Marketing
As you can see, the overall budget for this project is much more than the goal amount of this Kickstarter. My Kickstarter goal is more conservative to ensure this campaign's success. Kickstarter allows the goal to be surpassed, and I'd love nothing more! The remaining support to complete this project is planned to come from other sources.
Lauded as “one of the brightest younger artists in the field today…throughout, there was a sense of clear, mastery of the music, and a clear vision for its interpretation” (The Diapason), Jonathan Ryan has consistently elicited acclaim for his “considerable depth of musicianship, imagination, and passion” (Ibid.) and “great sensitivity within the composer’s spirit” (Frankfurter Neue Presse). Especially concerned with discovering a work’s essence, his ability to captivate listeners has “left the audience in breathless awe, only to break out in even greater applause” (Reutlingener Generalanzeiger). Among the few organists to ever receive six First Prize awards at major international and national competitions, his performances have taken him national and international conventions, festivals, and venues across the United States and Europe. www.jonathan-ryan.com
Risks and challenges
Given that the logistics and planning have already been finalized, the only real possibility here is an unexpected delay in the recording's release (e.g. a month or two).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)