Stephen Tharp performs Liszt at St. Luke’s in Evanston


Recording of the pipe organ built by the Skinner Organ Company for St. Luke's in Evanston, Illinois. Stephen Tharp performs his transcription of Liszt's Sonata in B Minor.

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The pipe organ at the Parish Church of Saint Luke in Evanston, Illinois is one of the landmark pipe organs in the United States. The pipe organ was installed by the Skinner Company of Boston in 1921 and was fully restored by the A. Thompson-Allen Company. Stephen Tharp, known as one of America’s most active concert organists. He performs some of the transcriptions on the Skinner Organ at St. Luke’s for which he has become internationally famous. The centerpiece of the disc is Franz Liszt’s piano masterpiece, the Sonata in b Minor. The work adapted by Stephen Tharp for the pipe organ in an electrifyingly colorful performance. Also heard are transcriptions of Handel and Barber (with soprano Susan Lewis), Karg-Elert’s late work, Passacaglia and Fugue on B.A.C.H., and the Stanford hymn “St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The booklet contains an article by Stephen Tharp on the recording sessions and essays on the music. The Thompson-Allen Company write about Ernest Skinner. There is a detailed stop list and many photos taken inside the pipe organ.

About Stephen Tharp
“…performed colorfully, rousing and splendid…”So was written in The New York Times about one of Stephen’s performances at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where he was a member of the music staff from 1995-1997. Today, his international career encompasses more than 1300 concerts worldwide and 13 commercial CD recordings, earning him the reputation as the most traveled concert organist of his generation. His CD release, the Complete Organ Works of Jeanne Demessieux on Aeolus Recordings, was awarded the 2009 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Germany’s premier critic’s prize for recordings. Stephen is listed in the 2008 edition of Who’s Who in America and the 2010 edition of Who’s Who in the World.

Name Composer
1 Music for the Royal Fireworks: Overture George Frideric Handel
2 Sonata in b minor: Lento assai — Allegro energico Franz Liszt
3 Sonata in b minor: Grandioso Franz Liszt
4 Sonata in b minor: Cantando espressivo Franz Liszt
5 Sonata in b minor: Pesante — Recitativo Franz Liszt
6 Sonata in b minor: Andante sostenuto Franz Liszt
7 Sonata in b minor: Quasi adagio Franz Liszt
8 Sonata in b minor: Allegro energico Franz Liszt
9 Sonata in b minor: Piu mosso Franz Liszt
10 Sonata in b minor: Contando espressivo senza slentare Franz Liszt
11 Sonata in b minor: Stretta quasi Prest — Presto — Prestissimo Franz Liszt
12 Sonata in b minor: Andante sostenuto — Allegro moderato — Lento assai Franz Liszt
13 St. Patrick’s Breastplate Charles Stanford
14 Sure on this shining night Samuel Barber
15 Passacaglia and Fugue on B.A.C.H.: Passacaglia Sigfrid Karg-Elert
16 Passacaglia and Fugue on B.A.C.H.: Fugue Sigfrid Karg-Elert

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