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Gregg Smith (b.1931): Music for an Urban Church / Thomas Schmidt, organ

Album Summary

>Smith, Gregg : Jazz Mass for Saint Peter's, for chorus & ensemble
>Smith, Gregg : Dedication Theme & Variations on "Our Father by whose servants our house was built of old", for sopr
>Smith, Gregg : Drake (Lord, You Give the Great Commission), for chorus & organ
>Smith, Gregg : Stanzas at Easter (7), for chorus & organ
>Smith, Gregg : Songs from a Liberal Heart, for chorus, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, bassoon & organ
>Smith, Gregg : Missa Brevis (Mass for Saint Peter's), for soprano, alto, chorus & organ
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The association of composer/conductor Gregg Smith, the Gregg Smith Singers and Saint Peter's Church in New York City dates back to 1970. Smith wrote works for the church, some of them commissioned for special occasions, and conducted the Gregg Smith Singers along with the Long Island Symphonic Choral Association and the Saint Peter's Choir in performances of this music. This disc commemorates this association with a collection of six of these works, written and performed between 1972 and 2005. Music for an Urban Church celebrates this American composer's continuation of the tradition of "singing unto the Lord a new song." As a composer Gregg Smith has more than 400 compositions to his name and he is also celebrated as the founder and conductor of the world-famous Gregg Smith Singers.

American Record Guide, May/June 2014
The earliest work here is Jazz Mass for St Peter's (1972). The mass is scored for a vocal quartet, instrumental quartet (trumpet, guitar, string bass, and percussion), and choir. Dedication Theme & Variations on Our Father by Whose Servants Our House Was Built of Old was written for the dedication of the new church building in December of 1977. Seven Stanzas at Easter (1995), text by John Updike, was commissioned by the St Peter's choir on the fifth anniversary of the appointment of their director, Thomas Schmidt. Songs from a Liberal Heart (2005) was commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of St Peter's annual Memorial Vespers services. Missa Brevis (1994) was commissioned as a memorial of a member of the church. The text is the modern English of the Communion Service in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). The performance quality here is generally good.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St. Peter's Church.



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Works Details

>Smith, Gregg : Jazz Mass for Saint Peter's, for chorus & ensemble
  • Performers: Bruce Gifford; Michael Levanson (Percussion); Rosalind Rees (Soprano); Walter Richardson (Voice); James Sullivan (Trumpet); Wayne Wright (Guitar)
  • Conductor: Gregg Smith
  • Ensemble: Long Island Symphonic Choral Association
  • Running Time: 28 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1972

>Smith, Gregg : Dedication Theme & Variations on "Our Father by whose servants our house was built of old", for sopr
  • Performers: Larry Benz (Trombone); Gordon Jones (Organ); Eugene Orcutt (Trombone); Rosalind Rees (Soprano); James Sullivan (Trumpet); Richard Weber (Trumpet)
  • Conductor: Gregg Smith
  • Ensemble: Saint Peter's Choir
  • Running Time: 9 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1977

>Smith, Gregg : Drake (Lord, You Give the Great Commission), for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Thomas Schmidt (Organ)
  • Conductor: Thomas Schmidt
  • Ensemble: Gregg Smith Singers
  • Running Time: 4 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1987
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Smith, Gregg : Stanzas at Easter (7), for chorus & organ
  • Performer: Thomas Schmidt (Organ)
  • Conductor: Thomas Schmidt
  • Running Time: 6 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1995

>Smith, Gregg : Songs from a Liberal Heart, for chorus, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, bassoon & organ
  • Performers: Denise Cridge (Viola); Susan Deaver (Flute); Matt Goeke (Cello); Daniel Hane (Bassoon); Suzanne Ornstein (Violin); Thomas Schmidt (Organ); Madeline Sturm (Clarinet)
  • Conductor: Gregg Smith
  • Running Time: 8 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Smith, Gregg : Missa Brevis (Mass for Saint Peter's), for soprano, alto, chorus & organ
  • Performers: Roslind Rees; Thomas Schmidt (Organ)
  • Conductor: Eric Stewart
  • Running Time: 13 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1994
  • Studio/Live: Live