Dorothy Young Riess | Organ Music From OU

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Organ Music From OU

by Dorothy Young Riess

Classical organ music played on the king of instruments by a world class organist.
Genre: Classical: Organ
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Canzona
3:39 $0.99
2. Toccata and Fugue F Major
5:16 $0.99
3. Toccata in D Minor Dorian
6:03 $0.99
4. Fugue in D Minor Dorian
13:34 $0.99
5. Improvisation Molto Lento
9:38 $0.99
6. Improvisation Allegretto
2:49 $0.99
7. Improvisation Allegro Giocoso
5:03 $0.99
8. Magnificat
2:44 $0.99
9. Antiphon
3:46 $0.99
10. Toccata On Now All Thank and Bring Praise
4:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Dr. Dorothy" started piano with her mother at age four, and changed to the organ at 16. She was a protégé of the great Mildred Andrews at The University of Oklahoma and won the American Guild of Organists National Competition in 1952. After receiving her B. Mus degree in '53, she studied in France with Marcel Dupré who recommended her as " excellent and perfect musician with a brilliant technique."

In Paris she was guest organist at the American Church Ave George V, then The Church of the Holy Spirit, Nice, and also served two years as organist at The American Church, Rome, Italy. She received a scholarship to Yale University Graduate Music School and performed her Masters recital at Woolsey Hall.

A series of life-changing events then led her into medicine and she earned her M.D. from Oklahoma University school of Medicine at age 38. After practicing Internal Medicine in Pasadena for 30 years, she retired to Las Vegas and started playing the organ once again.

Returning to OU in May 2005 for a reunion of former students of "Miss Andrews" she played an impromptu recital for her friends on the glorious Fisk Memorial Organ in Catlett Music Center, and the next day recorded the digital tapes for this CD.

Dr. Dorothy is pleased to reissue this CD, "Organ Music from OU," and dedicates it to the memory of "Dear Teacher".

(CD originally released in 2006 as Organ Masters Series Volume 5.)


Recording the music for this CD was especially important to me. I was so fortunate to study organ at OU with an exceptional teacher, Mildred Andrews. She was never Mildred, always "Miss Andrews." She influenced my life more than anyone else aside from my parents. Her sense of discipline, her high expectations, her constant drive and encouragement brought out the best in her students. We accomplished much in spite of ourselves. Two lessons a week, two hours scheduled practice time a day (she came and checked on us!), and everything played for memory. If the only practice time available was 5:00 AM, then she was there to meet us. (Good training for recording sessions later!) To play and record on the beautiful Memorial Organ in her name was a personal thrill I can hardly describe.

In May 2005, I enjoyed a reunion of Miss Andrews' students, and visited with old friends from my days at OU. I played an impromptu recital on the marvelous Fisk pipe organ for them, several of whom who were in the organ loft with me. When I asked for time to record the next day I was given from 5:00 to 7:00 AM - and that was all! The organ is in a beautiful gothic hall which serves as the lobby for the music building. A piano clinic was scheduled to start at 8:00 AM and I had to be finished by then. I mobilized my music, my recording equipment, my intentions, and myself, and was hard at work by 5:15 AM. I set up the Tascam digital equipment at the far end of the hall, set it to record, and let it run. Most of the tracks were completed in one take. By 6:30 I was running low on energy (no breakfast yet), but pressed on and finished the entire program. By 7:00 AM piano students began arriving, noise levels increased in the hall, and it was time to stop.

Ten days later, I played the same program at All Saints Episcopal Church Las Vegas. 2006 was a busy time of travel and performances including my 75th Birthday Recital at The University of Nevada Las Vegas. The digital tapes from OU remained untouched. But by the end of 2006, I decided to edit and finalize the audio. My son designed the cover, we set up a new company, J DOT PRODUCTIONS (renamed in 2007 as RAE CD),, and released the CD, "Organ Masters Series Volume 5." When I read about the 55th reunion of my Class of '53 in October 2007, I wanted to design a new cover emphasizing OU and the Organ for distribution at the reunion. Here it is, "ORGAN MUSIC FROM OU, The Mildred Andrews Boggess Memorial Fisk Organ, The University of Oklahoma, Dorothy Young Riess, Organist." Enjoy!


1 ANDREA GABRIELI (1510-1586) Venetian organist and composer, pupil of Adrian Willaert at St. mark's, and greatly influenced by Orlando di Lassus. He was organist at St. Mark's in 1566 where the great resonant cathedral space enhanced his unique ceremonial writing style.This "Canzona" or Canon begins with a short theme that becomes more interesting and dramatic with each repetition.

2 DIETERICH BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Danish composer and the most famous organist in Germany prior to Bach. He was unrivalled as composer and organ virtuoso. Bach once walked 200 miles to meet and hear him play. He wrote with passion, spontaneity, humor and imagination. His Toccatas are technically demanding for fingers and feet.

3-4 JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)German organist and composer, appointed to the Court at Weimar age 23. He wrote most of his great organ toccatas, preludes and fugues while in his twenties. They remain today as masterworks of structure and musical challenge. This Toccata and Fugue in d Minor is called "Dorian" to distinguish it from the more popular one of movie fame. The Toccata is brilliant in rhythm and harmony, and the fugue slowly builds to a stirring and dramatic climax.

5-6-7 CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) French pianist and composer, and "the world's greatest organist" according to Liszt. His music is elegant and polished with clear lines and smooth harmonic changes. The "Improvisations" are exquisite musical gems of transparency and mood.

8-9 MARCEL DUPRÉ (1886-1971) French child prodigy, organist and composer. An organ virtuoso with astounding technique and improvisation skills, he followed Widor as orgnist at St. Sulpice in 1934. When I studied with him, he was exacting and demanded absolute accuracy. He never tolerated sloppy and careless playing. His compositions are dramatic and the "Vespers" are pieces of great poetic beauty.

10 JAN JANCA (1933- )Polish composer and organist, now living in Tübingen Germany. He studied in Cracow, and with Dupré in Paris. Organist at St. Eberhard's in Stuttgart, and St. Johannes, Tübingen, he is now retired and spends more time composing. We met in Germany in 1998 and became instant friends. He often sends me his new compositions and this Toccata is one of my favorites. Based on a German hymn tune it is peppered with harmonic and rhythmic surprises and a French virtuoso flourish.


"Dr. Riess plays Saint-Saëns with lyricism and playfulness, and Dupré with majesty and serenity. The University of Oklahoma should be proud of this release on its splendid Fisk organ, and its strong heritage of Women in the Arts." - Christa Rakich, Concert and Recording Artist and Chair of the Organ Department at New England Conservatory.

"I received your CD and I have listened with great pleasure to the numerous pieces! You are playing my Toccata (with) virtuosity!" - Jan Janca, composer of track 10,Toccata on "Now All Thank..."

"...let me commend you for a wonderful recital last evening at All Saints (Episcopal Church, Las Vegas, June 2005 - same program as this CD). You really showed off the various colors of that organ and what it could do." - Raymond Barnes, Founder and Former Dean, Southern Nevada Chapter American Guild of Organists.



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