Chosen Tunes CDs from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco



Since recording the first Chosen Tunes CD in 2004 at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco while principal organist there, I have had the opportunity to play a few more chosen tunes in wonderful sacred spaces in Europe and the USA, and even ascend the Chosen Hill in Gloucestershire which inspired Howells’ “Chosen Tune,” and in turn the title of these CDs. It is always a joy to return to the cathedral down the block to sit down once again to play the Alexander Memorial Organ while gazing at the glorious Canticle of the Sun rose window on the west wall. May you find glimpses of God’s beauty in this music.

Purchase More Chosen Tunes here


Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937):
Intermezzo (from Symphony 6, Opus 42)

William Byrd (1539-1623):
The Bells,
BK 38

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Liebster Jesu, BWV 731
Toccata and Fugue in d minor (Dorian),
BWV 538


Petr Eben (1929-2007):
Moto Ostinato from Sonntagsmusik  

Larry King (1932-1990): Resurrection (1981)
Lament – The Rising – The Ecstasy – Reflection

Jeanne Demessieux (1921-1968):
Choral orné on Rorate caeli (from Twelve Choral Preludes on Gregorian Chant Themes)

Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986):
Prélude, Adagio, et Choral Varié sur le theme du “Veni Creator,” Op. 4 (1930)

cover spacer The Chosen Hill of Churchdown (between Gloucester and Cheltenham), with its spectacular views of the Malvern Hills, was a favorite destination of Herbert Howells in the long walks of the English countryside he so enjoyed from boyhood. Howells composed his "Chosen Tune" in celebration of his engagement to the singer Dorothy Dawe who was a native of Churchdown. This recording gathers together eleven chosen tunes from France, England, and America that display the incredible beauty of the treasured 1934 Æolian-Skinner Organ, Opus 910 of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.

Purchase Chosen Tunes here


Marcel Dupré (1886-1971): Cortège et Litanie, Opus 19, No. 2

Claude Bénigne Balbastre (1727-1799): Romance

Edward Elgar (1857-1934): Nimrod (from Enigma Variations, Opus 36)

Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély (1817-1870): Sortie in E-flat

Samuel Barber (1910-1981), arranged by William Strickland: Adagio for Strings, Opus 11

William Walton (1727-1799), arranged Herbert Murrill: Crown Imperial: A Coronation March

Herbert Howells (1892-1983): "Chosen" Tune, Opus 28, No. 29 (from Three Pieces for Violin and Piano) >Listen for excerpt

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847): Sonata III in A Major, Opus 65: Con moto maestoso, Andante tranquillo

Norman Cocker (1889-1953): Tuba Tune

Paul Halley (b.1952): Outer Hebrides, A Fantasia on Three Traditional Celtic Melodies

Jeanne Demessieux (1921-1968): Te Deum, Op. 11 >Listen for excerpt


Reviews of Chosen Tunes
"'Chosen Tunes' has been played more times recently here than just about any CD I can recall. It is, in a word, one of the most spectacular organ recordings ever made and deserves a high place in recorded history. The CD has the quality I like to call "re-playability" or "re-listenability" that denote recordings that don't go on the shelf after a listen or two. You have hit a high note on the combination of musicality, sonics, acoustical ambience and stunning technology."
~Charles Swisher, recording engineer for Virgil Fox

Yes, but do run out and get "Chosen Tunes" (Gothic CD G49206), Susan Matthews, playing "a recital honoring noble melody." The best recording ever at Grace, and she uses those strings (and the new Tuba!) in ways that Richard Purvis would have applauded.
~Michael Fox

" . . . Susan combines flawless technique with a secure sense of style and imaginative use of the vast resources of the Cathedral organ."
~Victor Hill, Ph.D., The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians (September 2008)