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CD104   for Two to Play



for Two to Play

Timothy & Nancy LeRoi Nickel
Duo Organists

St. Alphonsus Church, Seattle

  • 8-page insert booklet
  • 63'00" total playing time

CD104      $15.95

Purchase from Canticle Distributing

for Two to Play is the subtitle of two of the earliest known keyboard duets, a fantasia by the celebrated Worcester Cathedral organist Thomas Tomkins, and a plainsong verset by his friend Nicholas Carleton. Johann Albrechtsberger and his counterpoint student Beethoven each provided music in the Viennese classical style for two organists to play. In May, 1812, English publisher Vincent Novello finished copying a Duet for Organ by his friend Samuel Wesley, a duet which they performed together at London's Hanover Square Rooms.

This tradition of collegial music-making was carried on by two friends named Franz on an outing near Vienna in June, 1828. Before trying out the organ at the 12th century Cistercian Abbey in Heiligenkreuz, Schubert, and Lachner each prepared an organ work for the two of them to play.

In 1976, British composer Kenneth Leighton wrote his Martyrs: Dialogues on a Scottish Psalm Tune for Nicholas and Stephen Cleobury; and eight years later Frank Ferko wrote his Chant des Étoiles for two to play and dedicated it to the LeRoi-Nickel Duo. Duets for two players to play at the harpsichord or piano were common; organ pieces for two to play were less common. This recording is a sampling of four hundred years of friendly, collegial, shared music-making at the organ.

Samuel Wesley
Duet for Organ
Thomas Tomkins
A Fancy for Two to Play

Nicholas Carleton

A Verse for Two to Play

Frank Ferko

Chant des Etoiles
Ludwig van Beethoven
Adagio for a Musical Clock
J.G. Albrechtsberger
Prelude & Fugue in B-flat Major
Franz Schubert
Fugue in E Minor
Franz Lachner
Introduction & Fugue in D Minor
Kenneth Leighton
Martyrs: Dialogues on
a Scottish Psalm Tune

Listen Listen:

Fugue in E Minor by Franz Schubert


The Nickels are exquisite performers, able to adapt from one period to another. Their programming is also well-done. The easy gaiety of the Wesley slips simply into the mysticism of Ferko, and the clarity of classicism giving way to the color of romantics to the crashing, tense complexity of the Leighton. Each work is allowed to blossom with nuance and life. Nothing slipshod, boring, or tawdry here. Just music making of the first rank.   --Bond, The American Record Guide (May/June 1998)