Anthony Newman: Bach 2000-A Tribute



Anthony Newman




A Musical Tribute




New Works for


Organ, Voice, and






BACH 2000








Bach 2000


The year 2000 brings us not only to a new millennium, but also to the 250th anniversary of the death of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). This album is in homage to the great composer and angel of music. All works on this recording are original music of mine, written between 1996 and 1999. The seven instrumental organ works are based in structure on a particular organ work of J.S. Bach. The five vocal works are settings of Angel poetry dedicated to our musical angel, and written by notable English Baroque era poets, as well as a New Testament reading from the Gospel of St. John.


The opening Fugue in E Flat is based on Bach's famous “Gigue” fugue in G Major, S. 577. The following song Is there Care in Heaven? is set in waves of motion played on the organ with a cantabile line on top. The Prelude and Fugue in G is based on Bach's work in the same key, S. 541. The poem which follows, To the Evening Star, by William Blake, is written in a popular style. The Grand Intrada and Triple Fugue in C which includes timpani and percussion, is based on Bach's Prelude and Fugue in E Flat Major (“St. Anne”) S. 552. The bravura aria which follows Angels, from the Realms of Glory is based on a Christmas text. The big scaled Fantasia and Fugue in F is based on Bach's Fantasia and Fugue in g minor S. 542, followed by a cheerful springtime Song by poet William Blake. The sardonic Prelude and Fugue in a is based on Bach's harmonization of the German Te Deum, with the big fugue again modeled on the fugue from the Fantasia and Fugue in g minor S. 542. The song Then There Appeared an Angel uses a text from the Gospel of St. John.


Utilizing Bach's own harmonization in my Chorale Prelude Come Sweet Death (“Komm Suesser Tod”), I added dissonances à la Stravinsky for a mournful effect. The ending Toccata and Fugue in b is based on Bach's great Prelude and Fugue in b minor S. 544, and on the double Fugue in F, from the Toccata and Fugue S. 540.


J.S. Bach's music has been the musical inspiration of my life since I was five years old, and it is a real honor for me to pay this tribute to this great pillar of Western Music.


Anthony Newman




2. Is There Care in Heaven? (Edmund Spencer)


Is there care in heaven? and is there love


In heavenly spirits to these creatures base


That may compassion of their evils move?


There is: else much more wretched were the case


Of men, of beasts. But, Of th' exceeding grace


Of highest God, that loves his creatures so,


And all his works with mercy doth embrace,


That blessed angels he sends to and fro,


To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe.




4. To the Evening Star (William Blake)


Thou fair-hair'd angel of the evening,


Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light


Thy bright torch of love, thy radiant crown


Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!


Smile on our loves, and, while thou drawest the


Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew


On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes


In timely sleep. But thy west wind sleep on


The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,


And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,


Dost thou withdraw: then the wolf rages wide,


And the lion glares thro' the dun forest:


The fleeces of our flocks are cover'd with


Thy sacred dew: protect them with thine influence.




6. Angels, from the Realms of Glory


(James Montgomery)


Angels, from the realms of glory,


Wing your flight o'er all the earth:


Ye who sang creation's story,


Now proclaim Messiah's birth:


Come and worship, Come and worship,


Worship Christ, the newborn King.




8. Song (William Blake)


Fresh from the dewy hill, the merry year


Smiles on my head, and mounts his flaming car;


Round by young brows the laurel wreathes a shade,


And rising glories beam around my head.




My feet are wing'd, while o'er the dewy lawn


I meet my maiden, risen like the morn:


Oh bless those holy feet, like angel's feet;


Oh bless those limbs, beaming with heav'nly light!




Like as an angel glitt'ring in the sky


In times of innocence and holy joy;


The joyful shepherd stops his grateful song


To hear the music of an angel's tongue.




10. Then There Appeared (Gospel of St. John)


Then there appeared an angel of the Lord


standing at the right side of the altar of incense.


Fear not, do not fear, do not be afraid.


The sight disturbed him.


Zechariah, do not be afraid


for your prayer has been heard.


You will father a son


and his name shall be John.


He will be your joy and delight


and many will rejoice at his birth.


He will be filled with the Holy Spirit,


to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children.






For three decades, the multi-gifted Anthony Newman has been in the public eye as America's leading organist, harpsichordist and Bach specialist. Time magazine described him as the “high priest of Bach.” His prodigious recording output numbers more than 150 CDs on such labels as CBS, Sony, Deutsche Grammaphon, and Vox Masterworks. In 1989, Stereo Review magazine chose his recording of Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, played on fortepiano with original instruments, as one of the “Records of the Year.” His collaboration with Wynton Marsalis, “In Gabriel's Garden” on Sony Classical, was the best selling classical CD for 1997.


Among his collaborations are also some of the most famous names in Classical music: Kathleen Battle, Itzhak Perlman, and Jean-Pierre Rampal.


Mr. Newman has guest-conducted many of the world's greatest chamber orchestras, including those of Los Angeles, the 92nd Street Y in New York, the New York Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A whole series of orchestral conducting triumphs with the Seattle Symphony, San Francisco Baroque, and the New York Chamber Orchestra during 1997-98 have raised him to the top ranks of Baroque and Classical specialist conductors. At Lincoln Center, New York, alone he has appeared more than 50 times as soloist during his career. His duo appearances with flutist Eugenia Zuckerman at the New York Public Library are now in their 15th year.


Among his more unusual European appearances are the first performance of Hindemith's opera “Sancta Suzanna” in chamber version. In East Germany he conducted the first performance of Cesar Franck's “Chasseur Maudit” and Liszt's “Les Preludes” since the end of World War II.


No less prodigious as a composer, his works have been heard in such cities as Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw, New York and London. His compositions include many sonatas and concerti, numerous choral works, a complete set of piano preludes and fugues in every key, and others.


Anthony Newman was born in Los Angeles, studied in Paris with Alfred Cortot and famed Notre Dame organist Pierre Cochereau. Later he received degrees from Mannes College of Music in New York, Harvard University and Boston University. Currently he is music director at St. Matthew's Church in Bedford, New York.




Young American tenor David Ossenfort will make his company début with the New York City Opera in the 1999-2000 performance season. Highlights from last season include performances of Händel's Messiah at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, the world premiere performance of Absolute Joy, an oratorio by Anthony Newman, a recording for PPI entitled Music from the Titanic, and a company début with the Sanibel Music Festival in Lucia di Lammermoor.


Recently, Mr. Ossenfort received rave reviews for his exuberant portrayal of the romantically zany Alfred (Die Fledermaus) with Opera Theatre of Connecticut. This May, he makes his company début with Connecticut Grand Opera as Arturo in a new John Pascoe production of Lucia di Lammermoor.


In 1994, Mr. Ossenfort was accepted into the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center where he participated in the Phyllis Curtin Seminars. He was asked to return to Tanglewood in 1996 and 1997 as a fellowship student, and performed the roles of Rector Horace Adams in Peter Grimes and Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, with Maestro Seiji Ozawa conducting. Mr. Ossenfort's other operatic roles include Le Petit Vieillard (L'Enfant et les Sortilèges), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Astolf (The Conspirators), Beppe (I Pagliacci), Peterman (Monsieur Choufleuri), Don Pellagio (La Canterina), Leon (Signor Deluso), Bastien (Bastien und Bastienne) and Jean (The Reformed Drunkard).




Percussionist Seth McConnell is a 1999 graduate of the Purchase College Conservatory of Music in New York. He started percussion studies at age seven with Ralph Guzman, associate percussionist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mr. McConnell held the principal percussionist position at the Youth Symphony of the Hudson Valley from 1993 to 1995, and of the Purchase Symphony Orchestra from 1996 to 1998.


Mr. McConnell has been percussionist with Musica Antiqua New York since 1998, and has participated in several CD recordings with Mary Jane Newman and Anthony Newman on Albany Records, Eclipse Music Group, and PPI.




The organ at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Bedford, New York, was completed in January of 1995 as OPUS 30 by the organ building firm of Russell & Co., Chester, Vermont.


The instrument consists of 29 ranks of pipework and one electronic voice. The challenge of the extremely intimate acoustics and limited space at St. Matthew's Church was successfully met by enclosing the instrument in two chambers, each with its own set of expression shades, in the rear gallery. This gives the instrument an extremely wide dymanic range and enhanced versatility for liturgical and choral accompaniments.


The instrument is strongly influenced by the French organ builder Aristide Cavaille-Col. A solid foundation of 8' stops, provides a rich, warm tone quality. To these colorful reed stops are added, constructed in the French manner, forming the basis of the organ's sound. The clear sounding upperwork and Mixture stops are carefully scaled and voiced to add considerable briliance to the sound. The various tonal resources combine to create an instrument of incredible vitality well suited to a wide variety of organ literature.






16 Bourdon


8 Principal


8 Flûte Harmonique


8 Bourdon


4 Octave


4 Spire Flute


2 Super Octave


VI Mixture


16 Trompete


Page 8




8 Trompete


4 Clairon


8Trompett En Chamade


Swell to Great 16


Swell to Great 8


Swell to Great 4






16 Rohrfloete


8 Principal


8 Rohrfloete


8 Viole


8 Voix Celeste


4 Principal


4 Rohrpfeiffe


2 Octave


III Cornet


IV Terz Scharf


16 Petit Trompette


8 Trompette


8 Petit Trompette


4 Clairon


8 Trompette En Chamade






Swell to Swell 16


Swell Off


Swell to Swell 4






32 Contre Bourdon


16 Subbass


16 Bourdon


8 Principal


8 Bourdon


8 Gedeckt


4 Choralbass


32 Contre Bombarde


16 Petit Trompette


8 Trompette


8 Trompete


4 Clairon


8 Trompette En Chamade


Great to Pedal 8


Great to Pedal 4


Swell to Pedal 8


Swell to Pedal 4






Manual Compas: 61 notes


Pedal Compass: 32 notes






Recorded in February 1999.


David Ossenfort, tenor, on tracks 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10


Seth McConnell, timpani & percussion, on tracks 1, 5, 7


Anthony Newman, recording producer.


Stephen Epstein, Stamford Digital, engineer & digital mastering.


Joachim Becker, Becker Classics, executive producer.


Publisher: T.D. Ellis Music Publishing, 1075 East Putnam Avenue, Riverside, Connecticut 06878.


Cover Design:Bates Miyamoto Design Service










Anthony Newman


BACH 2000


A Musical Tribute


1 Fugue in E Flat, for organ & timpani [2:57]


2 Is There Care in Heaven?


(William Spencer) [3:38]


3 Prelude & Fugue in G, for organ solo [5:34]


4 To the Evening Star


(William Blake) [3:23]


5 Grand Intrada & Triple Fugue in C, for organ & percussion [10:29]


6 Angels, from the Realms of Glory


(John Montgomery) [3:13]


7 Fantasia and Fugue in F [9:57]


8 Song (William Blake) [4:33]


9 Prelude & Fugue in a [7:50]


10 Then There Appeared an Angel


(Gospel of St. John) [2:28]


11 Organ Chorale “Come Sweet Death” [3:09]


12 Toccata & Fugue in b [8:51]


Total Playing Time: 66:02


Anthony Newman, organ


at the Stephen Russell organ of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Bedford, New York Recorded in February 1999


David Ossenfort, tenor • Seth McConnell, timpani & percussion


Anthony Newman, recording producer


Stephen Epstein, Stamford Digital, engineer & digital mastering


Joachim Becker, Becker Classics, executive producer