Jan Kraybill, organ
Premiere Solo Recording – The Julia Irene Kauffman Organ, Casavant Freres Opus 3875, 2011
This program of French masterworks was designed to showcase all the colors and nuances of this outstanding new instrument. It includes the world premiere recording of an important piece by beloved composer Florent Schmitt: Prière (Prelude in G minor), Op.11 (1899). Gorgeous HDCD sonics by Grammy-winning engineer Keith Johnson will thrill organ music lovers and audiophiles of all persuasions, especially those with powerful subwoofers!
Reference Recordings is proud to offer these brilliant performances by the organist who knows this instrument best, Jan Kraybill. She regularly plays and oversees the care of the three largest pipe organs in the Kansas City metro area: the Community of Christ Auditorium’s 113-rank Aeolian-Skinner (installed in 1959) and Temple’s 102-rank Casavant (1993), and the 102-rank Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant (2011) at the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall.
At the Kauffman Center, she performs and hosts guest organists in both solo and collaborative musical events, including regular appearances with a major tenant of the Center, the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus. As a junior in high school in Colby, Kansas, Jan Kraybill performed her first European piano recital in Andover, England. She earned education and piano performance degrees from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and her doctorate in organ performance is from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2010 she earned the Fellow certificate from the American Guild of Organists, the highest certification available for organists. Dr. Kraybill maintains an active concert career, having appeared as a soloist and collaborative artist throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, Russia, South Korea, and Tahiti; she has been featured at regional and national convéentions of the AGO and other musicians’ organizations. She has recorded three solo CDs on Community of Christ’s instruments, and this disc is the first on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant.
“Jan Kraybill’s exemplary musicianship and the lovely sound of this noble Kansas City instrument make this one of the finest organ recordings I know. Period.” —Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International Recordings of the Year, 2015
“…Jan Kraybill … tackles Widor’s daunting structures with aplomb. … The organ’s tonal subtlety and range of colours are very much in evidence … her playing is always tasteful and proportionate. … Kraybill’s apt registrations and general keyboard wizardry turns her into something of a Prospero figure, very much in command of all that she surveys. … Kraybill’s playing is always refined, and she brings out the music’s inner voices with ease and good humour.… the joy that peals forth in the final seconds is a perfect metaphor for this recital as a whole; a triumph for all concerned. Only once before have I encountered an organ recording worthy of the term ‘a perfect storm’ … Frankly, these two albums blow all others into the proverbial weeds. Pure magic; my store of enchanted objects has just increased by one.” —Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International
“a fascinating sampling of a long-lived, greatly admired school of organist-composers. …I appreciate her attention to the colors and to the range of possibilities of her instrument—impressively well captured by RR’s recording and mastering engineer, Keith O. Johnson. … RR’s sound is most impressive.” —Joe Milicia, Enjoy the Music
“The Casavant here is a fine “symphonic” organ and blends well with the orchestra. As a solo it is a fine instrument, especially under the control of Jan Kraybill, who oversees it and two other wonderful organs in Kansas City. Great, idiomatic performances of many of the French masters, including Widor (thankfully not the overdone “Toccata”), Vierne, Gigout, Guilmant, Franck, Alain… et al. Lease breaking sonics to boot.” —Don Clark’s Best Recordings of 2014 list
“It’s obvious that organist Jan Kraybill, who is the Organ Conservator at the Kauffman Center, knows this organ’s capabilities very well, and as such matches each piece’s character to the best combination of stops possible. I envy her position. Sitting at that console, in command of all that power, must feel like sitting on a rocket.” —Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel
“[Jan Kraybill’s] playing is expressive in the quieter portions and pulls out all the stops when hitting some of the big orchestral-imitation passages in these colorful pieces.…” —John Sunier, Audiophile Audition
“…with extraordinary organist Jan Kraybill at the keyboard, Organ Polychrome is, indeed, a multi-colored showstopper. …” —Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star
“Organ Polychrome: The French School, Ms. Kraybill plays music intended to show off all the power and glory of the Julia Irene Kauffman Organ. She does so splendidly; it is all quite effective. … The instrument sounds rich, wide-ranging, realistically distanced, deep, full-throated, powerful, and lifelike.” —John J. Puccio, Classical Candor