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Textura Reviews Gail Archer’s “Chernivtsi: Contemporary Ukrainian Organ Music”
December 15, 2020

Textura reviews Gail Archer’s (Professor of Professional Practice, Music) album of “enthralling” music performed by “the acclaimed organist.” The review goes on to say that “while her renderings exemplify all of the musicality for which she’s become known, a key part of the recording’s appeal has to do with the glorious sound of the Riegger-Kloss organ which she played at the Armenian Catholic Church in the Ukraine city.”

From the review:

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the six nineteenth-to-twenty-first century Ukrainian composers whose works appear on Gail Archer’s ninth album, Chernivtsi, their material enthralls when performed by the acclaimed organist. While her renderings exemplify all of the musicality for which she’s become known, a key part of the recording’s appeal has to do with the glorious sound of the Riegger-Kloss organ which she played at the Armenian Catholic Church in the Ukraine city.

In presenting Eastern European organ works, Archer, a choral conductor and educator as well as organist, performs a valuable service to both composers and listeners. Yet while that is the case, the fifty-four-minute album is more than an educational exercise: it satisfies on purely musical grounds with the visceral impact of its compositions and treatments. Three of the six composers are no longer with us—Iwan Kryschanowskij (1867-1924), Mykola Kolessa (1903-2006), and Tadeusz Machl (1922-2003)—whereas Bohdan Kotyuk (b.1951), Viktor Goncharenko (b.1959), and Svitlana Ostrova (b.1961) are very much alive.

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