Robert Bates performs the complete organ works of Johannes Brahms on the Bond pipe organ at Holy Rosary Church, Portland, Oregon, with the chorale preludes preceded by a cappella singing of the chorales by soprano, Ruth Escher.
This artist bio was current as of the release date of the recording Pro Organo CD 7060 in 1999:
Robert Bates is University Organist at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. in musicology. He performs a wide range of organ repertoire, from early works on historic instruments to contemporary compositions, including his own. He has won top prizes for organ performance in Bruges, Fort Wayne, San Antonio and Detroit, and he was awarded the Prix d’Excellence and the Prix de Virtuosité from the class of Marie-Claire Alain by unanimous consent of the jury. Other teachers include Robert Anderson, Ray P. Ferguson and Herb Nanney. He has performed concert tours of Switzerland, France, Sweden, Mexico and the U.S., and played for French and Swiss National Radios. His recordings include the organ works of the seventeenth-century Spanish composer, Correa de Arauxo, and the noëls of Louis-Claude Daquin. He is a specialist in seventeenth-century French and Spanish organ music, the history of theory, and early tuning systems; his articles have appeared in the Organ Yearbook, Music and Letters and Performance Practice Review. He is often invited to perform, lecture and compose music for conferences and festivals, including national meetings sponsored by the American Musicological Society, the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, the American Organ Academy and the American Institute of Organ Builders. He has been granted a distinguished alumnus award for artistic achievement from Wayne State University in Detroit.
American Record Guide “Bates, I am happy to say, is very convincing in all the works, and the organ is, if not strikingly varied in timbre, a fine instrument for Brahms. The recording is very clear and warm ... Ruth Escher’s chorale are done nicely enough ... On the basis of the instrument alone this recording is worth having. Rival versions ... don’t have the warmth for the late works, ... It seems ironic that you’d have to go to Oregon to hear idiomatic Brahms, but I suppose stranger things have happened.” - Althouse