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Organ Concert Brilliantly Revealed Spectacular New Organ at First Baptist Church

On Sunday,  September 15, 2013 the magnificent, brand new Austin organ, with its more than 6,000 pipes, recently installed was on full display in its inaugural concert, featuring the church’s minister of music and noted organist Dr. Lawrence P. Schreiber. We previously reported on this major enhancement to the cultural life of the city (see, “A New ‘King of Instruments’ Coming to the Neighborhood; Organ Soon to be Heard,” InTowner, August 2013 issue PDF page 1; at the First Baptist Church of Washington (16th & O Sts., NW).

His program, designed to display the vast scope of coloristic sounds available in this incredible instrument opened with the spectacular “Fanfare and March” by Malcolm Archer and included two large pieces from the standard organ literature, the great “B Minor Prelude and Fugue” from Bach’s mature master period and his incomparable “Choral in E Major”; the first of the last three works by César Franck; other French works, including Mulet’s brilliant “Nave” from Byzantine Sketches and “Meditation” and a piece by Maurice Duruflé. Less lengthy pieces were two Bach chorale preludes, an impressionistic piece by Seth Bingham, British pieces by Walford Davies and Edward Elgar; the program closed with César Frank’s magnificent Choral in E major of 1890.

For those who missed this gorgeously programmed concert and the fabulous sounds of this great instrument, another opportunity will present itself on Sunday afternoon, October 20th, when the first of the church’s new “Distinguished Organists” series will feature New Jersey native organist and member of the Rice University music faculty Ken Cowan. For an introduction to this gifted artist, view and listen to his performing during a 2011 recording session at New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine at