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Thomas Dressler — organist: News

Back in Stock - April 18, 2012

The new Princeton Theological Seminary CD sold out on CD Baby very quickly, but it's now back in stock!

NEW CD - April 15, 2012

Thomas Dressler plays the Paul Fritts Organ, Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ) is now available! Click here to listen to samples and check it out:

Thomas Dressler: Thomas Dressler Plays the Paul Fritts Organ, Princeton Theological Seminary

CD on ITunes - June 20, 2007

The Round Lake CD is now available on ITunes! Check it out!

Tuning of temperaments - April 19, 2006

Since several people have asked me, I want to point out that I tune my harpsichord completely by ear. I get my first pitch using a tuning fork, and the tempering of intervals is done the "old way." Those who know about temperaments know that a given temperament, like Werckmeister for example, can sound different depending on how an individual does the tempering. So the examples on my soundclip page all have a very slight stamp of individuality one would not get using a machine.

Cantique de Jean Racine - June 7, 2005

Many weeks of hard work, negotiation, and planning resulted in the Roman Catholic and Episcopal choirs in Lambertville, NJ combining to sing a Mass at both churches, with Faure's Cantique de Jean Racine as the anthem. This was a truly unique experience, with music making on a very high level (in English, Latin, and French) and goodwill all around! This is the payoff for the sometime craziness of directing two music programs--two choirs that are both trained the same way, lending one another their individual strengths to produce a "super choir!"

"Bach" temperament - April 24, 2005

I want to point out that the "Bach" temperament in the A minor Fantasia soundclip is not exactly the same as Lehman's interpretation. For those who are interested in temperaments, it is based on the same structure, derived from the "squiggle" on the title page of the Well Tempered Clavier, however I distributed the comma slightly differently, so there is no wide 5th. I believe the whole concept needs to be experimented with and interpreted in different ways. What I have arrived at here is, I believe a practical interpretation of the same overall concept.

Another new soundclip - April 2, 2005

This one is actually from last year. It's an excerpt from a live performance of JS Bach's Wedge Fugue in E minor at the Bach Marathon in Allentown in spring of 2004. (I don't have control over where these appear on the page--it came up at the bottom, so you have to scroll all the way down on the soundclip page to find it.) I put it up because this performance was the beginning of my rethinking of technique. The fingerings for this performance were derived straight out of CPE Bach's treatise, and they were so comfortable and expressive that I decided to explore further. Bach lived in a time of transition, so the fingerings are not exactly early but not exactly modern either. There are no 3-4-3-4 fingerings in the scales, but there is plenty of 1-1-1 and other "hopping" at various places. It is entirely possible to use old fingerings at modern AGO style consoles.

sound clips - February 8, 2005

I just wanted to point out that the sound clips on this site were recorded as an experiment in non-edited recording (except the Tannenberg organ recording.) There are a few slips which were allowed to remain, as they were recorded in a hurry, partly to make a point about different temperaments. But for those who have discussed the value of completely unedited recordings with me: all the harpsichord clips are completely unedited! I am working on more recordings; some, I think, will make interesting points. They should be up in a week or so.

Sound clips on this site - December 23, 2004

For those of you who came to this site to hear the difference between various temperaments, there was a mistake on the hi-fi clips. The hi-fi links to different clips of Adeste Fideles were all playing the same file, so there was no difference between them. I took the hi-fi links off the page. Check out the lo-fi links--there's MUCH more of a difference there! :)

Tannenberg Clavichord Discovery!!!!! - November 12, 2004

I was fortunate enough to be present at the Moravian Historical Society in Nazareth, PA when Laurence Libin, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, made the fabulous discovery that the clavichord in Nazareth was signed and dated by David Tannenberg in 1761. This makes it the only known Tannenberg clavichord, and his only signed instrument. (If you don't count his unique capital Ds on his organ pipes.) An unbelievable discovery, and I was fortunate and feel privileged to have witnessed this historic event!

Latrobe Preludes - October 22, 2004

Lecture/Recital on the Latrobe Preludes for the Moravian Music Conference at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. Discussed issues in historically informed performance, as well as three different temperaments (5th comma meantone, Werckmeister, and Equal) on the c.1790 Green organ on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (meantone), a harpsichord by Willard Martin (Werckmeister) and a Steinway piano (Equal.)

Recording delay - October 15, 2004

I decided in light of my recent research in Moravian music to put off issuing the 1776 Tannenberg recording so I can research and record some of the interesting pieces I have learned about which could have been played in Nazareth around 1800.

Winston-Salem - August 25, 2004

Spent time in Winston-Salem, North Carolina doing research on performing practices in 18th century Moravian keyboard music. Found some very interesting things, including some old fingerings and lots of leads.

Clavichord Kit - August 9, 2004

Finally got my double-fretted clavichord kit from The Paris Workshop. Now comes the fun part. . . :)

Recording Sessions - July 2, 2004

Completed a set of recording sessions on the 1776 Tannenberg organ at Nazareth, PA, for a CD which I hope to release sometime around November, 2004.

Many thanks to the Moravian Museum Curator, Mark Turdo, for hand pumping the organ for those 4-hour long sessions!

American Organist Review - June 1, 2004

The American Organist published a complimentary feature review of the Round Lake CD.

Round Lake CD - August 30, 2003

Thomas Dressler Plays the 1847 Ferris Organ at Round Lake, NY was released to an enthusiastic audience at the Round Lake Auditorium.

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