Release Date: July 1, 2011
Catalog #: NV5853
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Solo Instrumental

Heavy Pedal

Works for Organ

Tadd Russo composer
Curt Cacioppo composer
Ron Nagorcka composer
Wilhelm Middelschulte composer
Michael Summers composer

Michael Kraft organ; Robert Gallagher organ
Yhasmin Valenzuela clarinet; Ole Jorgen Melhus trombone
David Scott Hamnes pipe organ; Ron Nagorcka didjeridu

HEAVY PEDAL is an all-organ disc featuring the compositions of Tadd Russo, Curt Cacioppo, Ron Nagorcka, Wilhelm Middleschulte, and Michael Summers performed by organists Michael Kraft, Robert Gallagher, David Scott Hamnes, Brink Bush, and Karel Martinek. As the title implies, the pieces on this disc are on the heavier side of classical music, reaching climaxes with real stopping power. The music presented in these modern organ works ranges from brilliant toccatas to traditional rhythms of Arnhem Land in Australia’s far north and adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Sleeper to melodic lines from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.


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Artist Information

Tadd Russo


Tadd Russo (b. 1976, Parma, Ohio) received his master's degree in composition from The Ohio State University, where his principal instructor was Thomas Wells. Critic Ralph O'Dette has praised his lyrical gift, hailing his music for the theatre as memorable.

Curt Cacioppo


Curt Cacioppo's compositions synthesize and reflect multiple dimensions of his musical and humanistic experience. Like his mentor Leon Kirchner, and other composer/performers such as Frederic Rzewski and George Walker, he is a formidable pianist, fully grounded in the traditional solo, ensemble, and concerto literature, and avidly involved with new repertoire.

Ron Nagorcka


Ron Nagorcka (born 1948) composes in his hand-built solar-powered studio in a remote forest in Tasmania (the island state off Australia's south coast) where the natural world provides him with much of his inspiration. He has been exploring both music and nature since his childhood on an Australian sheep farm and studied music - including pipe organ, harpsichord, and composition - at the University of Melbourne and the University of California, San Diego. In the 1970s he was a prominent and influential figure in Melbourne as an innovative composer, teacher, keyboard performer and improviser with electronics. He was also one of the first non-indigenous musicians to master the didjeridu and pioneered its use in classical composition.

Michael Summers


Michael Summers' music has harmonic richness, rhythmic flair, and a gift for melody. His works include lyrical string quartet movements, sexy 17th-century song settings and funk-inflected piano pieces. His organ piece Variations on an English Folksong, released by Navona in 2011, was described as 'urgently dramatic' by Gramophone and 'striking and ingenious' by Other keyboard works include Modus operandi for piano, which was first performed in 2010. One critic noted its 'subtle and complex rhythms and its impressionist language' and likened the style to Bartok and Debussy.

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