Symphonic Quest

This is Stuart Forster’s most recent CD for solo organ [Pro Organo CD 7228]. The four-manual organ, built by Schoenstein & Co. in 1997 for First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, is showcased in some of Stuart’s orchestral transcriptions and music composed for the organ in America, Australia, France, Italy, England, and Germany.

“His dexterous command of the large instrument is reminiscent of that of his former teacher Thomas Murray. The instrument itself is ideally suited to this kind of music, and Forster elicits a multitude of colors to match every phrase, including the various percussions. From the softest whisper to the sumptuous strings, flutes, and foundations, to the blare of the big reeds and the glory of the full organ, these are compelling performances. Throughout, Forster’s broad musicianship and technical mastery produce a gratifying musical experience. His performance of Hancock’s Toccata, which closes the program, is particularly brilliant; Uncle Gerre would be proud! Forster is clearly at home on this grand symphonic instrument, which shines under his capable command. Performer, music, and instrument combine to make this a highly enjoyable recording.”   James Hildreth, The American Organist April 2014

1.      “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” from The Planets — Gustav Holst (1874–1934), trans. Stuart Forster
2.      Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus’ — Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), trans. Stuart Forster
3.      Andante con moto en sol mineur —  Alexandre Pierre François Boëly (1785–1858)
4.      Noël: Grand jeu et Duo — Louis Claude Daquin (1694–1772)
5.      Scherzo in g minor — Marco Enrico Bossi (1861–1925)
6.      “Cantabile” from Symphonie VI — Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937)
7.      Tuba Tune — Christopher Luke (b. 1972)
8.      Choral Song and Fugue — Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810–1876)
9.      “Allegretto” from Symphony No. 7 — Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1833), trans. Stuart Forster
10.  “Communion” from Triptyque — Louis Vierne (1870–1937)
11.  Toccata — Gerre Hancock (b. 1934)

Available directly from Stuart Forster at or from Pro Organo

YouTube video from the recording session for Bossi Scherzo in g minor

“Forster brings solid technique, a rich sense of musical idiom, and creative exploration of registration possibilities to his performances.”   Victor Hill, The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, October 2009

Great Organ Builders of America, Volume 8 — Ernest M. Skinner

Stuart Forster’s pioneer recording of the 1931 4-manual Skinner Organ at Holy Rosary Cathedral, Toledo, Ohio, is once again available from JAV Recordings [JAV113]. The first transcription of the complete ‘New World’ Symphony is premiered with other transcriptions and organ music from Australia, France, England, and Germany.

1. Gothic Toccata — Graeme Koehne (b. 1956)
2. Blithe Bells — Percy Grainger (1882–1961), after Bach, arranged by Forster
3. “Allegro vivace” from Symphonie I — Louis Vierne (1870–1937)
4. Bridal March from The Birds of Aristophanes — C. Hubert H. Parry (1848–1918)
5. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme — Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
6. Tuba Tune — Reginald Porter-Brown (1910–1982)
7. Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” — Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904), transcribed by Forster

Available directly from Stuart Forster at or from JAV Recordings

“I wouldn’t have missed this experience for the world!  The transcription is masterly, its performance quite splendid…. This is orchestral playing of the highest calibre.”       Paul Hale, The Organist’s Review

“To say that music, player and instrument fit together well is akin to saying that Gustav Mahler wrote some nice pieces for orchestra! … musicality shines through, this is virtuosity used in the service of the music not vice-versa.”     Nicholas Wraight, The Organ Club Journal


Vivat Regina!
The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, 1952–2012

Choir of the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, MA
L’Académie, Leslie Kwan director
Stuart Forster organist
Michael S. Murray conductor

1.   Crown Imperial, Sir William Walton (1902–1983)
Mr. Michael S. Murray, Organist
2.   I was glad when they said unto me, Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848–1918)
3.   Behold, O God our defender, Herbert Howells (1892–1983)
4.   Jerusalem, arr. Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848–1918)
5.   First Reading: 1 Peter 2:13–17
Dr. Philip Budden, Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul General to New England
6.   Magnificat “Collegium Regale”, Herbert Howells (1892–1983)
7.   Second Reading: Matthew 22:15–22
Mr. Kenneth Millican
8.   Nunc Dimittis “Collegium Regale”, Herbert Howells (1892–1983)
Alexander Nishibun, Tenor
9.   Fantasia on a Ground Bass, Henry Purcell (1659–1695)
L’Académie; Ms. Leslie Parris Kwan, Director
10. I will not leave you comfortless, William Byrd (1543–1623)
11. The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune, Old 100th, arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
12. Zadok the Priest, George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
13. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810–1876)
14. Praise my soul, the King of Heaven, Lauda anima, John Goss (1800–1880)
15. O taste and see, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
16. God save the Queen, arr. Sir David Willcocks (b. 1919)
17. Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D, Sir Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
Dr. Stuart Forster, Organist

There Were Angels Singing ― a Chestnut Hill Christmas
Choir of the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Michael S. Murray, conductor
Stuart Forster, organist
Michael Diorio, organist

Available from Michael Murray at or from CDBaby

1. Once in royal David’s city, arr. James O’Donnell
2. Adam lay ybounden, Boris Ord
3. Jesus Christ the apple tree, Elizabeth Poston
4. Uns ist ein kind geboren (from BWV 142), Johann Sebastian Bach
5. Alleluia (from BWV 142), Johann Sebastian Bach
6. I wonder as I wander, arr. Steven Pilkington
7. The First Nowell, arr. David Willcocks
8. Angelus, David Aaron Miller
9. In dulci jubilo, Robert Lucas Pearsall
10. Glory to God (Messiah), George Frideric Handel
11. Angels we have heard on high, arr. Michael S. Murray
12. O magnum mysterium, Tomás Luis de Victoria
13. Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child, Kenneth Leighton
14. God rest ye, merry gentlemen, arr. Stuart Forster
15. The Three Kings, arr. Ivor Atkins
16. O come, all ye faithful, arr. David Willcocks
17. I saw three ships, arr. Richard Lloyd
18. Up! good Christian folk, Piae Cantiones
19. Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, John Gardner
20. Hark! the herald angels sing, arr. David Willcocks
21. Choral Fantasia “In dulci jubilo” (BWV 729) , Johann Sebastian Bach


Vesper Light was recorded live on tour during the Christ Church Cambridge Evensong Choir’s first decade (2000–2009). Founding director Stuart Forster plays two organ solos and conducts the choir during services at Washington National Cathedral, Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue, and the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. Organ accompaniments are played by Jeremy Bruns, Michael Murray, and Frederick Teardo.

1. O gracious light — Robert Lehman (b. 1960)
2. I will not leave you comfortless — William Byrd (1543–1623)
3. “Gloria in excelsis” from Messe solennelle — Louis Vierne (1870–1937)
4. Preces — Robert Lehman (b. 1960)
5. Almighty and everlasting God — Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625)
6. Psalm 113 — Anglican chant by James Turle (1802–1882)
7. Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele — Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
8. Suffrages — Robert Lehman (b. 1960)
9. “Sanctus and Benedictus” from Messe solennelle — Louis Vierne (1870–1937)
10. All wisdom cometh from the Lord — Philip Moore (b. 1943)
11. Ave Maria — Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809–1847)
12. A Hymn to the Virgin — Benjamin Britten (1913–1976)
13. “Benedictus” from Festal Communion Service in B-flat — Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)
14. “Final” from Symphonie I — Louis Vierne (1870–1937)

“… the integrity of the musicianship of Stuart’s excellent forty-voice Evensong choir remains consistent. Founded only ten years ago, this choir has quickly worked to put itself “on the map.” … Again and again, Stuart and the choir demonstrate wonderful musicianship coupled with a passion for what they are doing.” Jonathan Dimmock, The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians

This recording is available from Stuart Forster (CD only) at, from CDBaby (CD or digital) at, or from iTunes (digital only).

Forster displays his enviable skills as an organ soloist in Bach’s Schmücke dich, played with sensitivity of phrasing and tasteful embellishment, and Vierne’s Final from Symphonie No. 1, given an invigorating, energetic reading. Forster’s skill as a choral leader is equally impressive. The choir consistently performs at a high technical and artistic level, exhibiting exemplary vocalism and stylistic integrity… sterling renditions of this sacred repertoire. Stuart Forster and the Evensong Choir of Christ Church are highly worthy practitioners of the Anglican cathedral tradition. This recording is well worth acquiring.
James Hildreth, The American Organist, February 2017

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