Members of the Gargoyle Brass and Choral Ensemble (photo courtesy of the Gargoyle Brass and Choral Ensemble).

The Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble will offer inspirational music for the season with a Lenten concert titled “What God Tells Me,” free and open to the public, at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 17, 2019. The concert takes place at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 139 E. First Street, Hinsdale, Illinois.

Unique in the Chicago area, the professional ensemble of brass quintet and pipe organ will perform brass and organ arrangements of works by Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and others.

“The magical combination of brilliant brass sonorities in a wide dynamic range and the majestic sound of the pipe organ, whose notes you can feel vibrating in the sanctuary, makes for a multidimensional experience,” says Rodney Holmes, founder and artistic director of the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble. “Listeners who are already familiar with the original works on the program will hear them in a startlingly new way.”

Concertgoers will hear Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, also known as “St. Anthony Variations,” in an arrangement by Craig Garner, as well as Brahms’ organ prelude Mein Jesu der du mich (My Jesus calls to me).

The Gargoyles’ will play Tchaikovsky’s Russian Romantic take on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s motet, Ave verum corpus (Hail, true body) from Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 4, Op. 61 (“Mozartiana”). Mozart was Tchaikovsky’s favorite composer.

Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) is one of the 20th-century modernist giant’s most accessible and popular works. The tale of romantic love, regret, and conciliation will be heard in Garner’s arrangement for the Gargoyle ensemble.

The ensemble will also play an arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s finale to his expansive Symphony No. 3, voted as one of the 10 greatest symphonies of all time in a BBC poll of orchestra conductors. The symphony’s sublime final movement, which Mahler once subtitled "What Love Tells Me," is at times eloquent, prayerful, and ecstatic. Mahler wrote that he could have called it What God Tells Me, the phrase that inspired the Gargoyles’ concert title.

Other works on the program include a brass and organ version of Russian choral composer Pavel Tchesnokov’s Salvation is Created and Chicago composer Steven Rice’s solo organ piece, Durch Adam’s fall ist ganz Verderbt (Through Adam’s Fall All is Lost), about the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Rice dedicated the work to his wife, Gargoyle organist Heike Burghart Rice.

For more information about the upcoming concert, call 630-323-5530 or visit or

Gargoyle Brass and Choral Ensemble's "What God Tells Me" to  Offer Inspirational Programming for Lenten Season

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