Matt has transcribed these 2 mammoth musical works and has compared and related the 2 works to each other in his concise CD booklet essay.
He has paired 2 works, J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and the final 2 movements (Adagio and Finale) from Mahler's Fifth Symphony, music that rarely, if ever, previously has been associated with the organ; but Matt Curlee may change all of that with his frequent recital tours and this new CD recording.
critical quote: "...This CD contains some of the finest Bach playing I have ever heard, from any artist, on any organ, period!...Matt Curlee's Bach is of the no-nonsense variety...His Bach is sensitively paced and artfully registered...His application of baroque ornamentation is without flaw and his technique is so abundant that the music never cease to flow, even in the most confounding and treacherous of passages...This is prize-winning playing from a prize-winning artist....On both counts, Bach and Mahler, Matt Curlee is batting 1000. Bravo!" Bernard Durman for The Diapason, November 2000
From his innovative programming to his recent unveiling of Neos, a jazz-fusion quintet with organ, Matt Curlee has developed a reputation as a fresh voice in the organ world. Winner of the 1996 Grand Prix de Chartres, one of the most prestigious organ competitions in the world, he has been listed In International Who's Who in Music and Musicians, and has performed throughout North America and Europe, both live and in radio and TV appearances. His engagements have included premieres of new instruments, such as the acclaimed E.M. Skinner organ, refurbished and installed in Jacksonville's Jacoby Hall, which he inaugurated in two sold-out concerts with the Jacksonville Symphony in 2001. In Neos, Matt collaborates with fellow Eastman graduates Courtney Orlando, violin, Ted Poor, drums, Lawson White, percussion, and Ike Sturm, bass, performing an all-new repertoire of groove-oriented music written by some of the most promising young composers of today. Using the organ in an entirely unexpected way, one presenter recently wrote that the textures and colors explored by Neos were "nothing short of amazing."
Matt's recording credits include Syntax (2001, Suigeneris Creative Productions), a listener-friendly tour through some of the more intriguing sounds, colors, and textures of the Twentieth Century, and his 1999 Pro Organo release, An Austrian Neurotic in Graf Kaiserling's Court. Of this disc, which features an unlikely pairing of two strangely parallel works, Bernard Durman of The Diapason worte, "This CD contains some of the finest Bach playing I have ever heard, from any artist, on any organ, period...prize-winning playing from a prize winning artist!"
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of David Higgs, Matt holds Bachelors in organ with the Performer's Certificate, and a Masters in Pedagogy of Music Theory. Matt is Director of Music and Organist at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Penfield, a suburb of Rochester, NY, where he lives with his wife Alisa, a highly sought-after collaborative pianist in the Rochester area.
Check out the artist's website:
1. J.S. Bach: The Goldberg Variations, Aria, Variations 1-4
2. Variations 5-7
3. Variations 8-10
4. Variations 11-13
5. Variations 14-15
6. Variations 16-19
7. Variations 20-22
8. Variations 23-25
9. Variations 26-27
10. Variations 28-30, Aria da Capo
11. Gustav Mahler: from Symphony V, Adagietto
12. from Symphony V, Rondo-Finale