Heavy Pedal Vol. 2

Works for Organ

Deon Nielsen Price composer
John Rommereim composer
Christopher J. Hoh composer
Richard E Brown composer

Karel Martínek organ

Release Date: June 9, 2023
Catalog #: NV6529
Format: Digital
21st Century
Solo Instrumental

The aptly-titled HEAVY PEDAL VOL. 2 from Navona Records is the second installment of an organ-centric series of albums. Featuring the music of composers Christopher Hoh, Deon Price, Richard E Brown, and John Rommereim, the collection lives up to its name; these organ works are some of the most powerful that classical music has to offer. From Hoh’s Concertino Corona, inspired by the hardships and seeds of hope from COVID-19, to Brown’s Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes, which were composed using Brown’s encyclopedic understanding of historical hymns, HEAVY PEDAL VOL. 2 brings the organ down from the choir loft to allow all listeners a greater appreciation of this incredibly dynamic instrument.


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Experience in Immersive Audio

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An Inside Look

Chorales for Organ – Deon Nielsen Price | Karel Martínek, organ

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Chorales for Organ: Villanelle Deon Nielsen Price Karel Martínek, organ 2:18
02 Chorales for Organ: Psalm Deon Nielsen Price Karel Martínek, organ 1:32
03 Chorales for Organ: Persuasion Deon Nielsen Price Karel Martínek, organ 1:23
04 Chorales for Organ: How long, O Lord, Most Holy Deon Nielsen Price Karel Martínek, organ 3:04
05 Gesangvoll: Variations on a Theme by Beethoven John Rommereim Karel Martínek, organ; Jan Kučera, oboe 9:03
06 Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes: Ellacombe Richard E Brown Karel Martínek, organ 3:18
07 Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes: Leoni Richard E Brown Karel Martínek, organ 3:05
08 Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes: Wondrous Love Richard E Brown Karel Martínek, organ 3:26
09 Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes: Hyfrydol Richard E Brown Karel Martínek, organ 3:05
10 Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes: Picardy Richard E Brown Karel Martínek, organ 3:08
11 Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes: Regent Square Richard E Brown Karel Martínek, organ 3:00
12 Concertino Corona: I. To the Heroes Christopher Hoh The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor; Karel Martínek, organ 4:14
13 Concertino Corona: II. Remembrance Christopher Hoh The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor; Karel Martínek, organ 7:28
14 Concertino Corona: III. Chorale & Dance of Life Christopher Hoh The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice | Stanislav Vavřínek, conductor; Karel Martínek, organ 7:01

Chorales for Organ, Six Chorale Preludes for Organ
Recorded October 20-21, 2022 at Concert Hall in Uničov, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Editing Jan Košulič, additional editing and mixing Lucas Paquette

Recorded May 13, 2022 at Concert Hall in Uničov, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Pavel Kunčar
Editing & Mixing Melanie Montgomery, additional editing Ethan Fields

Concertino Corona
Recorded November 22, 2022 at House of Music in Pardubice (Dům hudby v Pardubicích), Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Editing Jan Košulič, additional editing and mixing Lucas Paquette, Melanie Montgomery

Mastering Brad Michel

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Sullivan, Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Director Levi Brown
Production Manager Martina Watzková

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Deon Nielsen Price


The deep humanitarian concerns that permeate much of Deon Nielsen Price’s music is represented in her duo War Ends-Song Endures, a tribute to the valiant spirit of Ukrainians, premiered in 2023 at the Mu Phi Epsilon International Convention in Texas by flutist Rik Noyce and commissioning pianist Mary Au. Named the "Tom Brady of Composers" (New York Times 12/24/2022), Price feels honored to represent octogenarian composers who are still professionally active. During her truly banner year of 2023, several long-term projects came to fruition with premier performances, album releases, new recording sessions, and two compositions that were finalists for The 2023 American Prize: Ludwig’s Letter to Eternal Beloved, song cycle in the category Vocal Chamber Music; and Ammon and the King, Immigrant Speaks Truth to Power in the Opera/Theater category.

John Rommereim


John Rommereim is a musician who has pursued a varied career as a composer, conductor, keyboardist, and professor. He has written works for choir, solo voice, orchestra, string quartet, saxophone quartet, flute ensemble, guitar, organ, piano, and electronic media, as well as a chamber opera, and music for theater and film. The New York Times praised the “richly expressive” character of his work for voice and piano, Into the Still Hollow.

Christopher J. Hoh


“Full of charm and shapely allure” (Opera News) and “a tapestry of immense grace” (Textura) are some of the praises for the music of Christopher J. Hoh. He composes for voices and instruments, separately and combined, in a modern classical vein. In the mid-Atlantic region, his work has enhanced many worship services and choral concerts, but audiences across the United States and in several countries of Europe and the Americas have also heard his compositions. The GRAMMY-winning ensemble The Crossing, as well as Vox Futura and others, have recorded his work on six albums so far, with more in the pipeline.

Richard E Brown

Richard E Brown


Dr. Richard E. Brown, a native of New York State, has been active as a composer-arranger and music educator for many years. His training includes M.M. and D.M. degrees in Composition from Florida State University, as well as a B.A. in Music Education from Central College, which named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 1983. His principal composition studies were with Carlisle Floyd, John Boda, and Charles Carter. He is a member of ASCAP and is represented in the catalogs of several trade publishers, as well as his personal imprint Dacker Music.

Karel Martínek


Karel Martínek was born in Olomouc. He first studied mathematics and physics at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Palacký University and later musicology at the Faculty of Philosophy. From 2004 to 2009 he studied organ at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno under the leadership of Professor Kamila Klugarová and organ improvisation under Professor Karel Pokora. In 2014 he started his studies of improvisation under Philippe Lefebvre, titular organist of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Besides the interpretation of a wide spectrum of organ literature, Martínek also dedicates himself to improvisation.

In his hometown he started presenting thematic evenings inspired by biblical texts and combining organ improvisation with spoken word. Later he inaugurated the monumental project titled Organ Bible as part of which, since the advent of 2012, he has published an improvisation based on a chapter from the Bible on YouTube every day. From 1994 to 2008 he served as an organist at the Cathedral of Saint Wenceslas in Olomouc. Currently he is the organist of the Cathedral of Saint Moritz in Olomouc, where he uses Michael Engler’s famous instrument. In this cathedral he is also involved in the organization of the International Organ Festival as its program advisor. Besides organ interpretation and improvisation, he also dedicates himself to composition. In addition to compositions for solo organ, he has created several compositions for piano and works for choir and orchestra, some of which have been awarded a prize at composing competitions.

The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice


The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, founded in 1969, is one of the Czech Republic’s top orchestras. The repertoire of this chamber orchestra includes a large number of compositions from the baroque era to contemporary music, including many cross-over and multigenre projects.

The first principal conductor, Libor Pešek, quickly raised the orchestra to a high standard and the subsequent principal conductors included Libor Hlaváček, Petr Altrichter, Bohumil Kulínský, Petr Škvor, Róbert Stankovský, Leoš Svárovský, Marko Ivanović, and Peter Feranec have kept a high artificial level of the orchestra. Their current leader is Stanislav Vavřínek.

The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice is valued for its stylistic interpretation and the extraordinary quality of its orchestral sound, and it is rightly ranked amongst the world’s leading representatives of Czech musical culture. It often performs at Czech Republic’s most important festivals (including The Prague Spring International Festival, the Smetana’s Litomyšl or the International Český Krumlov Festival) and at many important venues in Europe in many prestigious concert halls, such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Salzburg Festspielhaus, Hercules Hall, Gasteig in Munich and the Musikverein in Vienna, Brucknerhaus in Linz, the Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg, and many others. Outside Europe, the orchestra has played in Japan and has toured extensively around the United States.

The orchestra has collaborated with many leading world-renowned conductors (among others with Jiří Bělohlávek, Marco Armiliato, Marris Jansons and many others) and also a substantial number of prominent soloists and choirs (Lazar Berman, Ivan Moravec, Eugen Indjic, Ivo Kahánek, Martin Kasík, Isabelle van Keulen, Vladimir Spivakov, Pavel Šporcl, Václav Hudeček, Gabriela Demeterová, Angel Romero, Jiří Bárta, Ludwig Güttler, Radek Baborák, Peter Damm, Herrmann Baumann, Helen Donath, Eva Urbanová, Dagmar Pecková, Czech Boys Choir Boni Pueri, Prague Philharmonic Choir, Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno) have performed with the orchestra.

Apart from concert-giving, the orchestra regularly engages in operatic and theater projects and has dozens of successful albums to its credit on Naxos, ArcoDiva, Supraphon, Classico, Monitor-EMI, and Amabile.


The coronavirus pandemic prompted this composition. I mourned at the suffering and hardship while seeing rays of hope and humanity. The first movement opens in turmoil with the motif of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Its supposed symbolism of “fate knocking” fit the circumstances of 2020. The organ erupts onto the scene with anguished harmonies that stir the brass and tympani. Then the instruments wrestle out a resolute march led by the trumpet. I thought of health workers, scientists, and first responders bringing order to chaos, so the title is “To the Heroes.” After the organ takes up the march and then solos a second theme, a calm and lyrical duet arrives for horn and trombone. Trumpets and organ join and the music grows more peaceful. Fate, however, brings back the turmoil and the march before a decisive end.

The second movement, “Remembrance,” is introspective and a bit haunted. The mood reflects being alone with one’s thoughts and memories, like quarantine. A mysterious opening of fleeting motifs evolves into a viola and cello melody. Like unexpected thoughts, the tune wanders and serves as the theme for a set of variations. First is organ and strings, bouncing in 3/4 time. Second an ornamented trumpet melody with organ flourishes and cello pizzicato. Next, back to 4/4 led by a quartet of brass and viola. Then, solo organ, rich and quiet. A short end echoes the opening.

The third movement starts with the “Chorale” tune for low brass, low strings and timpani. It’s a memorial hymn, respectful rather than sad — and ultimately hopeful. For the second verse the trombone starts the tune, then the horn takes it up. The organ solos on it for verse three, before taking off in an irrepressible 6/8 “Dance of Life.” Strings and brass accompany, recalling the chorale in a restrained minuet, but the livelier organ draws them in. When the strings start their own dance, uncertainty and trouble return. Against a restless organ the instruments try to keep on, but things go off-kilter; the organ asserts itself to call a time-out. The chorale returns with full organ and a moving bass in the trombone and organ pedal. In response, all join for a majestic final verse and an uplifting conclusion.

— Christopher Hoh

Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes is a set of six independent compositions that are meant to be performed separately rather than together as a set. Each one is based on a popular and well-loved hymn tune, but the title may be unfamiliar to most people because hymn tunes usually have somewhat odd names that are not well-known except by church musicians.

The history of the tune for each chorale prelude is given below, along with the titles of the hymns most commonly sung to it.

“Ellacombe” is named for a village in Devonshire, England, although the source of the tune seems to be German. Originally set to the words “Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern,” it first appeared in the Duke of Würtemberg’s hymnal Gesangbuch der Herzogl in 1784. It has since been printed in over 200 hymnals. There are a great many hymns set to this very popular tune, but the most often heard are “Hosanna Loud Hosanna,” “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” “The Day of Resurrection,” and “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed.”

“Leoni” is named for Meyer Lyon (ca. 1750-1797), an English synagogue singer and operatic tenor who used the stage name “Michael Leoni.” In 1770, Lyon took this traditional Jewish chant and transcribed it into a modern hymn tune that has appeared in nearly 150 hymnals. Besides its original Hebrew text Yigdal (“Magnify, O living God”), the first—and best-known by far—hymn set to this tune is “The God of Abraham Praise.” Some of the other texts include “Praise to the Living God,” “Community of Christ,” and “God is my Great Desire.”

“Wondrous Love” is a Southern folk-hymn that was first published in the hymn-book The Southern Harmony in 1835. It has since appeared in about 60 hymnals, virtually all of which use the same 1811 anonymous text “What Wondrous Love is This.” The origins of this haunting Dorian mode melody are somewhat obscure, but it probably originated in early 17th century England, having been sung to a variety of texts until becoming popular in 1701 as “The Ballad of Captain Kidd.”

“Hyfrydol” is a Welsh word meaning “tuneful” or “pleasant,” and the tune is indeed of Welsh origin; it was penned in 1830 by Rowland H. Prichard (1811-1887), a Welsh textile worker and musician. It was first published in his children’s collection Cyfaill y Cantorion (“The Singers’ Friend”) in 1844. It has since appeared in over 260 hymnals. While it is probably best-known as the Advent carol “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” many other texts are set to it, including “Love Divine All Loves Excelling,” “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus,” and “Our Great Savior (“Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners!”)”.

“Picardy,” a 17th century French carol, is named for the French province where it is believed to have originated. It first appeared in the 1848 collection Chansons Populaires des Provinces de France, and has later been printed in well over 100 hymnals. The most popular modern hymn to use this tune by far is “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.” Other texts include “Sing My Tongue the Glorious Battle (“Canta Fuerte, Lingua Mia”),” “Christians Let Us Love One Another,” and “You Lord Are Both Lamb and Shepherd.”

“Regent Square” is named for the London church whose pastor was the text editor of Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship, the 1867 hymnal where it first appeared. The tune was written in 1866 by the music editor of that hymnal, Henry T. Smart (1813-1879) to a Doxology by Horatius Bonar, “Glory Be to God the Father.” It has since been published in nearly 300 hymnals. The text most commonly associated with this tune today is the Christmas carol “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” Other commonly heard texts include “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation,” “Easter People Raise Your Voices,” and “Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending.”

— Richard E Brown

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