“a beautiful account of an organ repertoire that deserves to be heard”
– Choir & Organ Magazine
“Modern minor and chromatic Eastern European sensibilities dominate with a wealth of imagination and dramatic flourish that mark the program as remarkable and fascinating to hear in depth. Gail Archer shines a constant artistic light on the music in a winning way. – Modern classical music
What: Organist Gail Archer performs a free concert
When: Sunday, January 16, 2022, at 4:00 p.m.
Where: Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, 111 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA, 94109
Tickets + Info: Free. For more information, please contact the church at 415.567.2020 or visit SMCSF.org.
Internationally acclaimed organist and recording artist Gail Archer is relaunching her national tour (interrupted by COVID last year) of Ukrainian organ music from her latest album: Chernivtsi: Contemporary Ukrainian Organ Music (Released in 2020, Meyer Media). Known for captivating listeners with her musicality, sensitivity and visceral quality, Archer introduces listeners to rarely performed works by six Ukrainian composers of the 19th and 21st centuries.
Eastern European organ literature is little known in the West, both in Western Europe and in the United States. Archer is dedicated to bringing attention to modern Ukrainian composers through continuous research and performance. “The richness and variety of Ukrainian organ literature deserves international attention, as the beauty and vital creative spirit of this music inspires and rewards the performer as well as the listener,” says Gail Archer. “I sincerely hope that many people will make the trip to Chernivtsi and come back refreshed, renewed and ever more curious about the musical arts in Eastern Europe today.”
Archer has long been interested in the vibrant organ culture in Ukraine. Since 2011, Archer has performed annually in Eastern Europe, earning her election as a faculty member of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. The new CD was recorded in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, on a fine Riegger-Kloss organ from the city’s Armenian Catholic Church.
Archer’s recordings span the 17th and 21st centuries, a celebratory discography that showcases his musical mastery on grand romantic instruments as well as baroque organs. This latest album is the second in a trilogy of recordings of contemporary Eastern European organ literature. The third will feature Polish works and the first was A Russian Journey (2017), which included 19th and 21st century music by Russian composers Glasunow, Cui, Ljapunow, Slonimsky, Shaversashvili and Mussorgsky. “The superb musicianship, masterful technique and programming acumen that inspired American organist Gail Archer’s previous Meyer Media releases prevail throughout ‘A Russian Journey’.” (Gramophone)
About Gail Archer
Gail Archer is an international concert organist, recording artist, choir director and speaker who draws attention to composer birthdays or musical themes with her annual recital series, including Max Reger, The Muse’s Voice, An American Idyll , Liszt, Bach, Mendelssohn and Messiaen. Ms. Archer was the first American to perform the complete works of Olivier Messiaen. Time Out New York recognized the Messiaen cycle as “Best of 2008” in classical music and opera. His recordings include A Russian Journey, The Muse’s Voice, Franz Lizst: A Hungarian Rhapsody, Bach: The Transcendent Genius, An American Idyll, A Mystic in the Making (Meyer Media) and The Orpheus of Amsterdam: Sweelinck and his Pupils (CALA recordings ). Ms Archer’s European tour in 2019 took her to the British Isles, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Malta. Highlights include St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland, Loyola Basilica, San Sebastian, Spain, St. Mary’s Church, Krakow, Poland, Holy Cross Church, Lublin, Poland, the Lviv Philharmonic, Ukraine, and the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Moscow, Russia. She is the founder of Musforum, www.musforum.org, an international network of women organists to promote and affirm their work.
Ms. Archer is an organist at Vassar College, a faculty member at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, and director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she directs the Barnard-Columbia Chorus and Chamber Singers. . www.gailarcher.com