CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 19, 1999
Disselhorst will inaugurate refurbished Clapp Hall organ
with all-Bach program March 28
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Organist Delbert Disselhorst, a member
of the University of Iowa School of Music faculty, will play
a recital of the music of J.S. Bach at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 28
in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Disselhorst's recital will be the first use of the organ in Clapp
Recital Hall in about a year. The Casavant firm of Canada, makers
of the instrument, has been working to install a new solid-state
combination action system and completely refurbish the organ
console -- work that was necessary, Disselhorst said, after 27
years of intensive use. "Conservatively estimated, the original
installation had close to 100,000 hours of use," he said.
Disselhorst also explained that the organ will also have new
resources for the player. "The new solid-state system allows
the storing of more than 3,000 stop combinations" -- different
groupings of pipes -- "rather than 25 as in the original
The organ was built as part of Clapp Recital Hall in 1972. The
inaugural concert, Sept. 6, 1972, was performed by Disselhorst
and Gerhard Krapf, a former member of the School of Music faculty.
The recent work on the instrument has been done by Carroll Hanson,
Casavant representative and curator of organs at the UI.
One of the most esteemed composers and organists in history,
J.S. Bach wrote music that is considered an essential part of
the organ repertory. Bach's music has also been a large part
of Disselhorst's performances at the UI.
"Since the organ hasn't been used for the past year, I thought
maybe the best way to hear it was in Bach's music, which people
seem to enjoy hearing and which I certainly enjoy playing,"
Disselhorst said. "I deliberately selected works that occupy
a particularly significant position among Bach's compositions.
The toccata, the chorale prelude, the fugue, the chorale partita
and the prelude and fugue are all compositional types that Bach
inherited from his predecessors, and that he used throughout
For the March 28 concert, Disselhorst will perform four major
works written specifically for organ:
--the Toccata in C major, S. 564;
--the chorale prelude "O man, bewail your great sins,"
S622, from the "Orgelbuechlein" ("Little organ
book"), a collection of pieces based upon Lutheran choral
melodies that were well known to the congregations in the Lutheran
churches where Bach played;
--the chorale partita, or variations on the chorale tune "Hail,
Kind Jesus," S.768; and
--the Prelude and Fugue in E minor, S. 548.
In addition to these works, Disselhorst will play organ arrangements
of several works from Bach's "Musical Offering." A
result of Bach's visit to the court of King Frederick the Great
near Berlin in 1747, "The Musical Offering" includes
a number of works based upon a theme that the King himself had
given Bach to improvise on during his visit.
Disselhorst will play organ arrangements of four canons -- pieces
in strict counterpoint that were intended to show off the composer's
skill -- and the "Ricercar a 6," a contrapuntal development
in six parts of the royal theme and its related motives.
Disselhorst has been a member of the UI School of Music faculty
since 1970. He holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in
music from the University of Illinois, where he graduated as
a Bronze Tablet Scholar. As a recipient of a Fulbright grant
in organ, he also studied at the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik
in Frankfurt, Germany. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree
from the University of Michigan.
As a concert artist, Disselhorst has performed in the United
States, Canada and Europe. He has appeared as a recitalist for
several regional conventions and for the National Convention
of the American Guild of Organists in Houston, Texas, in 1989.
Tours of Europe have included recitals in Denmark, Germany and
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web
site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.