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Christopher Herrick

One of the leading concert organists from England, Christopher Herrick has become strongly identified with the organ works of J.S. Bach. His 16-CD set of the complete Bach organ oeuvre on Hyperion Records has become one of the touchstones in that corner of the repertoire. But Herrick is versatile and hardly limited in his choices, as evidenced by his Organ Fireworks recordings for the same label, a technically demanding series that includes a range of colorful works by a veritable hodgepodge of composers that includes Saint-Saëns, Jolivet, Shostakovich, Widor, Mozart, Nielsen, Elgar, Pachelbel, Liszt, Rutter, and many others.

Herrick was born in Bletchley, England, on May 23, 1942. A chorister in his youth, he developed an intense interest in organ playing at 12 when he served as page-turner for St. Paul's Cathedral organist John Dykes Bower. Herrick later studied organ at Oxford University and the Royal College of Music. By his early twenties he was virtuoso organist of the highest caliber.

Herrick served as assistant organist at St. Paul's Cathedral in London from 1967 to 1974, then worked as an organist at Westminster Cathedral for the next decade, all the while regularly appearing in concerts and recitals. In 1984 he left his Westminster Cathedral post to become a freelance concert artist and found immediate rewards. Herrick's first recording, Organ Fireworks, Vol. 1, was released on Hyperion Records that year and achieved critical and financial success. It would be followed by 10 more volumes of Fireworks recordings by 2006, as well as a spate of more serious efforts.

From 1989 to 1999 Herrick recorded Bach's complete organ works on Metzler organs in Switzerland. Critics generally found his work enlightening and original. Often, however, they were even more astonished at his concerts: Herrick played virtually the entire Bach organ output at the Lincoln Center Festival in 14 concerts over 14 days in July 1998, prompting New York Times critic James R. Oestrich to write a rave review using a host of superlatives -- "herculean," "triumphal," "powerful" -- to describe his performances.

In the new century, Herrick has remained active with a busy concert schedule taking him throughout Europe and Scandinavia, to the United States and Canada, and to New Zealand and numerous other locales. Among his later recordings were the 2005 release of Organ Dreams, Vol. 4, and the 2006 Organ Fireworks, Vol. 11, both on Hyperion Records.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Buxtehude: The Complete Organ Works, Vol. 4

1. Praeambulum In A Minor, Buxwv 158: Praeambulum In A Minor, Buxwv 158

2. Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Buxwv 196: Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Buxwv 196

3. Praeludium In G Minor, Buxwv 148: Praeludium In G Minor, Buxwv 148

4. Canzonetta In C, Buxwv 167: Canzonetta In C, Buxwv 167

5. Toccata In F, Buxwv 156: Toccata In F, Buxwv 156

6. Christ Unser Herr Zum Jordan Kam, Buxwv 180: Christ Unser Herr Zum Jordan Kam, Buxwv 180

7. Fuga In B Flat, Buxwv 176: Fuga In B Flat, Buxwv 176

8. Nun Lob, Mein Seel, Den Herren, Buxwv 214: Nun Lob, Mein Seel, Den Herren, Buxwv 214

9. Canzona In G Minor, Buxwv 173: Canzona In G Minor, Buxwv 173

10. Toccata In G, Buxwv 164: Toccata In G, Buxwv 164

11. Gott Der Vater Wohn Uns Bei, Buxwv 190: Gott Der Vater Wohn Uns Bei, Buxwv 190

12. Canzonetta In A Minor, Buxwv 225: Canzonetta In A Minor, Buxwv 225

13. Passacaglia In D Minor, Buxwv 161: Passacaglia In D Minor, Buxwv 161

14. Wie Schon Leuchtet Der Morgenstern, Buxwv 223: Wie Schon Leuchtet Der Morgenstern, Buxwv 223

15. Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland, Buxwv 211: Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland, Buxwv 211

16. Der Tag, Der Ist So Freudenreich, Buxwv 182: Der Tag, Der Ist So Freudenreich, Buxwv 182

17. In Dulci Iubilo, Buxwv 197: In Dulci Iubilo, Buxwv 197

18. Praeludium In E Minor, Buxwv 142: Praeludium In E Minor, Buxwv 142

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Track List: Sweelinck: Keyboard Music - Christopher Herrick plays the Organ of Norrfjarden Church, Sweden (2 CD Set)

Disc 1
Title: Fantasia Chromatica For Keyboard "Dorian"

1. Fantasia Chromatica For Keyboard "Dorian": Fantasia Chromatia

Title: Onder Een Linde Groen (Unter Der Linden Grüne), Variations For Keyboard (2 Versions)

2. Onder Een Linde Groen (Unter Der Linden Grüne), Variations For Keyboard (2 Versions): Onder Een Linde Groen

Title: Puer Nobis Nascitur (Ons Is Geboren Een Kindekijn), Variations For Keyboard

3. Puer Nobis Nascitur (Ons Is Geboren Een Kindekijn), Variations For Keyboard: Ons Is Gheboren Een Kindekijn

Title: More Palatino, Variations For Keyboard ("Almand Gratie;" Attributed To Sweelinck)

4. More Palatino, Variations For Keyboard ("Almand Gratie;" Attributed To Sweelinck): More Palatino

Title: Onse Vader In Hemelrijck (Vater Unser Im Himmelreich), Chorale Variations For Organ (doubtful)

5. Onse Vader In Hemelrijck (Vater Unser Im Himmelreich), Chorale Variations For Organ (doubtful): Onse Vader In Hemelrijck

Title: Ballo Del Granduca, For Organ (Doubtful; Probably By Samuel Scheidt)

6. Ballo Del Granduca, For Organ (Doubtful; Probably By Samuel Scheidt): Ballo Del Granduca

Title: Erbarm Dich Mein, O Herre Gott, Chorale Variations For Organ

7. Erbarm Dich Mein, O Herre Gott, Chorale Variations For Organ: Erbarme Dich Mein, O Herre Gott

Title: Est-ce Mars, Variations For Keyboard

8. Est-ce Mars, Variations For Keyboard: Est-ce Mars

Title: Christe Qui Lux Es Et Dies, Chorale Variations For Organ

9. Christe Qui Lux Es Et Dies, Chorale Variations For Organ: Christe Qui Lux Est Et Dies

Title: Ich Fuhr Mich Über Rhein (Ik Voer Al Over Rijn), Variations For Keyboard

10. Ich Fuhr Mich Über Rhein (Ik Voer Al Over Rijn), Variations For Keyboard: Ick Voer Al Over Rhijn

Title: Malle Sijmen (Silly Simon), Variations For Organ (Doubtful)

11. Malle Sijmen (Silly Simon), Variations For Organ (Doubtful): Malle Sijmen

Title: Ik Heb Den Heer Lief (Psalm 116, J'aime Mon Dieu), Variations For Organ

12. Ik Heb Den Heer Lief (Psalm 116, J'aime Mon Dieu), Variations For Organ: Ik Heb Den Heer Lief

Title: Poolse Almande For Keyboard ("Soll Es Sein")

13. Poolse Almande For Keyboard ("Soll Es Sein"): Poolsche Dans

Disc 2
Title: Work(s)

1. Work(s): Fantasia (A-phrygian)

Title: Engelse Fortuin, Variations For Keyboard ("Von Der Fortuna Werd Ich Getrieben")

2. Engelse Fortuin, Variations For Keyboard ("Von Der Fortuna Werd Ich Getrieben"): Engelsche Fortuyn

Title: Mein Junges Leben Hat Ein End, Variations For Keyboard

3. Mein Junges Leben Hat Ein End, Variations For Keyboard: Mein Junges Leben Hat Ein End'

Title: Pavana Philippi For Keyboard (after Peter Philips)

4. Pavana Philippi For Keyboard (after Peter Philips): Pavana Philippi

Title: Work(s)

5. Work(s): Toccata (Ionian)

Title: Pavana Lachrymae For Keyboard (after Dowland's "Flow My Teares")

6. Pavana Lachrymae For Keyboard (after Dowland's "Flow My Teares"): Pavana Lachrimae

Title: Allein Gott In Der Höh Sei Ehr, Chorale Variations (4) For Organ (collaboration With Other Composers)

7. Allein Gott In Der Höh Sei Ehr, Chorale Variations (4) For Organ (collaboration With Other Composers): Allein Gott In Der Hoh Sei Ehr

Title: Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Chorale Variations For Organ

8. Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Chorale Variations For Organ: Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ

Title: Pavana Hispanica For Keyboard

9. Pavana Hispanica For Keyboard: Pavana Hispanica

Title: Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gmein, Chorale Variations For Organ

10. Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gmein, Chorale Variations For Organ: Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gemein

Title: Work(s)

11. Work(s): Echo Fantasia (Ionian)

12. Work(s): Ricerar (Aeolian)

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