PipeChat Digest #4673 - Thursday, August 5, 2004
 
OHS Buffalo - Second (Very) Full Day, 7-16-04
  by "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net>
 

(back) Subject: OHS Buffalo - Second (Very) Full Day, 7-16-04 From: "Malcolm Wechsler" <manderusa@earthlink.net> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 00:15:09 -0400   FRIDAY, JULY 16, 9 AM, Adams Mark Hotel   A Lecture by Jonathan Ambrosino on "The Work of Robert Hope-Jones."   *****   Donald K. Fellows, St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church, Buffalo Friday, July 16th, 2004 - 10:30 a.m.   Donald Fellows has a history dotted with service in Roman Catholic cathedrals in this country, beginning with St. Joseph Cathedral in = Buffalo, serving from 1982 to 1991. He was Associate Organist and Choirmaster at = Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago from 1991 to 1993. From 1993 to 1999, he was = Music Director at St. Mary Cathedral in Ogdensburg, New York, during which time = he was also Chair of Fine Arts and Director of Liturgical Music at Wadhams = Hall Seminary-College, also in Ogdensburg. In 1999, he became Organist and Associate Music Director at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh, and was appointed Music Director in 2003. He holds BMus and MMus Degrees from SUNY Fredonia.   Mr. Fellows began his program with the Mendelssohn Prelude & Fugue in D Minor, which I don't think gets played terribly often - certainly not enough. He played on Hook & Hastings Opus 1429 from 1889, a somewhat = larger version of the 1916 H & H tracker Organ I play every Sunday. I loved this man's playing from just the first few bars. It is secure, supple and = giving, responding to all variables of line. This was a beautiful performance.   Next: from Triptyque (Opus 58): St=E8le pour un enfant d=E9funt . . Louis Vierne (1870-1937) This work really wanted a more spacious acoustic then was available in = this building, but Mr. Fellows compensated for this through control of his = touch, and we did not so much miss the reverberation.   Hymn: If now, thou seekest miracles . . . . Tune: Si quarus miracula was new to me, but was quickly learned, as we sang the first stanza in unison and the second in the good harmony supplied to us in the Hymnlet.   "Adoro te devote" - Prelude with Four Variations . . . Gerald Near (b. 1942) This is wonderful music, obviously of a flowing plainsong character, given from the plainsong melody upon which it is based. The penultimate = variation has the plainsong surrounded by tinkly bits, notes dotted above and below the melody. The last variation is simply a new harmonization of the Adoro Te, with a quite solid Organ sound.   Te Deum (Opus 59) . . . Max Reger (1873-1916) I did not know this Reger work which, reminiscent of the Langlais, begins with a big unison statement of the Te Deum theme. It is a wonderful work, one which I must add to my to do list, and I can hope to play it half as well as Donald Fellows, who gave it a wonderful performance.     Our bus took us to St. Francis Xavier R. C. Church, where tables were already set for a quite nice lunch. After the meal, we all found our way = to the church to hear:     Tom Trenney, Saint Francis Xavier R. C. Church, Buffalo. . . Friday, July 16th, 2004 1 p.m.   Tom Trenney is Director of Music Ministries at First Presbyterian Church = in Birmingham, Michigan, where he oversees a large music program and a = concert series. He is a graduate of The Cleveland Institute of Music and the = Eastman School of Music. His teachers have been Anne Wilson, Todd Wilson, and = David Higgs. He has a new recording out on the Pro Organo Label, which I intend = to own as soon as I can find it. I have vivid memories of Tom's performance = at the Calgary International Organ Competition Semi-Finals at Spivey Hall in Atlanta. His choice of program, although somewhat restricted by the rules = of the competition, was most interesting, and his performance was impeccable, exciting, and supremely musical More of the same today! The Organ was = built by Hermann Schlicker in 1932. It does not necessarily look terribly interesting on paper, but on closer examination, there are some clever touches, and in the end, the instrument really can rock. It certainly did = on this occasion.     We first sang the Hymn: "I sing the mighty power of God" to a tune called Forest Green, but most decidedly not the tune that most of us know to that name - at least in the 1982 Hymnal of the Episcopal Church. It is not, in other words, the English tune harmonized and arranged by Vaughan Williams. We will have to live with this anomaly. In any case, Tom gave us a great = and supportive accompaniment, with subtle and lovely harmony shifts. We sang 1 and 3 in Unison and the middle stanza in glorious harmony. We then heard:   Bishop's Promenade . . . Norman Coke-Jephcott (1893-1962) This was gently underplayed. No State Trumpet here, but just a quite nice chorus Trumpet. Coke-Jephcott was at St. John the Divine for 21 years, and = I don't know what, if any, registration suggestions he might have made for = it. I somehow hear something roaring out of the west end. A lovely and = Englishy performance.   Variations on "The Last Rose of Summer" . . .Dudley Buck (1939-1909) A piece which I had thought somewhat trivial from hearing it both on a recording and once in person, became a powerful piece of music in Tom's hands. He takes great care with touch and articulation, with registration, and with constant attention to musical line. Jim Hammann earlier in the Convention gave Dudley Buck a boost, and now I am pleased to recognize = more evidence of Buck's significance.   Improvisation on Three Submitted Themes   There are no words to describe adequately this performance, an = improvisation on three rather varied themes that Tom had not seen beforehand. I believe Joe McCabe picked them out - it was he that brought them to Tom at the console. The choices might have raised eyebrows, but in fact, they were brilliant, fun, and lyrical, and the proof lies in the fact of what Tom managed to do with them. Here they are: "Jerusalem" "Nettleton" "O Come thou fount of every blessing" "Shuffle Off to Buffalo"   Tom created vast symphonic movements from which sprang, at intervals, phrases of these tunes. It was beautiful and thrilling all the way.   In Tom, we have another major talent in the (no longer) lost art of Improvisation. I would dearly love to attend a service at Tom's church, to hear him in that context. I recall him describing to me a few years ago = this new appointment offered to him in Michigan, and it sounded for all the = world just like it was ready for a talent as big as Tom's, wrapped around a big heart like his, to drop right in and get to work. Do try to meet and hear him sometime.     Stephen Roberts, The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Buffalo Friday, July 16th, 2004   Stephen is my neighborhood Professor of Organ - they're good to have = around. In fact, it truly IS a fine thing to have a developing Organ Department = just down the road a few miles. - watching talented Organ students developing = and growing under an excellent teacher, and hearing them play with some regularity. Juan Mesa, from Chile, is one of these students, and you may have heard him at the AGO convention in L.A. Chris Howerter, who is here = in Buffalo with us, has been studying with Stephen Roberts for a year now, = and has already won important competition prizes this past year. Gustavo = Andres (from Peru), played a stunning recital in Ridgefield, Conn. a few months ago. There are more students soon to come. Western Connecticut State University is in Danbury, Connecticut.   NOW, you may put to rest the saying that those who can, do (play), and = those who can't, teach. Stephen Roberts is one of those who can and does do = both, and well indeed. If there was any doubt, today's recital should put them = to rest.   We sang first THE hymn: "The Royal Telephone," to an old Shape Note tune. = A sampling of the words: "Fail to get an answer, Satan's crossed your wire, = By some strong delusion, Or some base desire; Take away obstructions, God is = on the throne, And you'll get an answer, Thru this royal telephone. If your line is 'grounded,' and connection true, Has been lost with Jesus, Tell = you what to do; Prayer and faith and promise, Mend the broken wire, Till your soul is burning, With the Pentecostal fire." Those are two of the five verses. There is at least one verse I dare not quote here, as this is a family show! The tune moves fast, and I dare say it took us at least a couple of stanzas before we were up to the expected competence of an OHS audience. I would have loved a second go at it.   Once we calmed down after that experience, we heard Four Versets on "Ave Maris Stella" (Opus 18, Nos. 6 through 9) by Dupre. 1. When the Salutation Gabriel had spoken 2. Jesus's tender Mother, make Thy Supplication 3. So now as we journey, aid our weak, endeavor. 4. Amen (Finale)   These are such wonderful pieces. No. 8, in the style of J. S. Bach, is a favorite of mine and of lots of others, I suspect, and I love the Finale = as well. Stephen plays these all beautifully.   We next heard the lovely 'Vision" of Rheinberger, played more effectively and beautifully than I have ever heard it.   Stephen pointed out to us that right outside the west door of his church, St. Peter R.C., Danbury, one comes face to face with the park in which Charles Ives heard two bands practicing a short work they were all to = play, and, you guessed it, they were playing the work in two different keys and Ives liked the effect. So, there is the place where some aspects of "Variations on America" had their beginning - certainly the poly-tonal = bits. Well, Stephen gave us as good a romp through this amazing if strange work = as I have ever heard.   Stephen Roberts is Professor of Organ at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, and is also Organist/Choirmaster at = St. Peter R.C.Church, also in Danbury. He holds the B.Mus Degree from U. of Oklahoma, where he studied under Mildred Andrews. On a Fullbright, he studied Organ in Vienna with Anton Heiller, Improvisation with Peter Planyavsky, and Harpsichord with Isolde Ahlgrim. He was the first student admitted to the then newly-formed Yale Institute of Sacred Music where he studied with Robert Baker, Gerre Hancock, and Michael Schneider, and Harpsichord with Ralph Kirkpatrick. As a recitalist, he has traveled far = and wide. Venues include: Vienna, Saint Petersburg, Venice, Paris, and Buenos Aires, not to forget his many recitals in the U.S. His recording of = Russian music performed on Organs in that country is expected in the fall.   His recital here in Buffalo presented some daunting challenges, as the = 1934 Kimball was in a parlous and even perilous state, with, in fact, the = entire Swell division unusable. In Chris Howerter and Stephen Price, Organ = Scholar at the church, he had able and much needed assistance with registration = and page turning.     Lorenz Maycher, Westminster Presbyterian Church (Holmes Chapel), Buffalo, = NY Friday, July 16th, 2004   Lorenz was at one time a regular recitalist at OHS conventions, and after = a time away from us, he has returned in recent years, his presence welcome = to all. He is Organist-Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bethlehem, PA, Adjunct Professor of piano and Organ at Lafayette College and = Assistant Director of Music at DeSales University. My recollections of him are as = the distinguished Organist at the opulent First Church of Christ, Scientist in Manhattan. Unbelievably, that church has now been sold, and one is unsure whether or not the old Hutchings is still in use. When I drove by there a few times in my travels last week with Jarle and Bodil Fagerheim and = Alexey Vylegzhanin, I noted a sign that said, I think, Crenshaw Christian Center. Somehow, they don't sound like Organ fanciers, but perhaps that's unfair, and there is someone keeping the instrument alive and sounding. Lorenz was there for ten years. OHSers have known that Lorenz's great enthusiasm is = for the Organs of Aeolian-Skinner under G. Donald Harrison, and he has served them well. If my memory is correct, for all the OHS appearances Lorenz has made, he always managed to arrange that they be on Aeolian-Skinner Organs, and I am sure convention program planners were always happy to oblige. I = do remember some quite memorable performances. Two of Lorenz's recordings are of great importance. One is of organ music of Leo Sowerby, already = important in and of itself, on the great 1949 Aeolian-Skinner Organ at First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore, Texas. Another is a recording on the 1955 Aeolian-Skinner at Trinity Episcopal Church,Bethlehem, PA, where Lorenz is now Organist/Choirmaster. Both are available both from the OHS: www.ohscatalog.org/ or directly from Raven Recordings: www.ravencd.com = ..   Today, in playing A-Sk Opus 1136 of 1951, in the Holmes Chapel of Westminster Presbyterian Church, he was, according to his own bio, playing on one of his favorite instruments. He played a 50th Anniversary recital here in 2001. Not a lot of churches can boast of such a comprehensive instrument in just a chapel, in this case, not a small space. The = convention was divided at this point, with half hearing Stephen Roberts at Ascension, and the other half here in Holmes Chapel, so we were about 175 people in this place. There were chairs in the wide entryway to this room, so it was = a bit of a stretch. This Organ is complete and somewhat substantial. With two-manuals and Pedal, and a floating Positif, it amounts to twenty stops. One wonders, in reading the stoplist, how such an Organ without an 8' Principal other than in the Pedal, can work. Presumably it goes on the Harrison dictum that under certain circumstances, an 8' Flute and an 8' String can, together, make up a satisfactory Principal. Like it or not, in this case, the music we heard proved that it can work.   The group I was in arrived to hear Lorenz's second recital. As we walked = in, he was busily playing/practicing a Bach Trio Sonata, not on today's = program. At first, I thought, "Gosh, this isn't very professional," but then I told myself I was being silly, and to cool it and enjoy the music. When it stopped, many people gave out a great "Aw," and said "Don't stop." The recital itself began with an absolutely charming Telemann "How Brightly Shines the Morning Star," giving us all the sparkle of which this Organ is capable. This was followed by a Bach D Minor Fugue, played entirely non-legato, which seemed to fit the character of subject. My memory is clouded by having heard hundreds of thousands of notes since, so I am = saying with uncertainty that this was the Fugue from BWV 539, often called the "Fiddle Fugue," which was Bach's own transcription of a movement of an unaccompanied Violin sonata in G Minor. Bach later fitted the work with = its own Organ Prelude. I hope I am not misleading you about this work. Its Violin origins would seem to support the bowing style of the playing. It = was elegant.   Well now, those, who like me, heard Stephen Roberts first and Lorenz = second, had a kind of hymn shock, going from "The Royal Telephone" to Nicaea, = "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!" With a strong, supportive, and interesting accompaniment from Lorenz, we sang, as always, impressively! Some OHS historian can tell us if the idea of singing a hymn at each recital was a practice right from the very first convention. The clever soul who = suggested it is, I hope, still around to realize just how brilliantly this has enhanced our musical experience at conventions.   Leo Sowerby still holds wonderful surprises for us all, if we do not know his complete works. I did not know the next work, "Whimsical Variations (1950)," and I was completely charmed by it, and beguiled by the splendid performance.   Am I correct in saying that the Dupr=E9 Three Preludes and Fugues of Opus = 36 published in 1938 are much less often played than the much better-known = set of Opus 7 of 1911, published in 1920? Of that earlier set, most of us know the G Minor and the B Major, and I have come to hear twice within this = year the somewhat contemplative F Minor in the middle, magnificent work that it is. The later set contains Preludes and Fugues in E Minor, A. and C. Of these, Lorenz played the rather wild Fugue in C, rendered fully coherent = by a great performer.     Felix Hell, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo Friday, July 16th, 4:10 p.m.   This concert was our last of three in two churches located right around = the corner from one another. The stroll from Ascension to Westminster was a pleasant alternative to the on-the-bus, off-the-bus routine. Mind you, walking onto a bus and seeing a sea of friends on either side of the = aisle, and having time to chat is a good thing at these conventions. And then, there is the stark reality of the small room at the back of the bus. Does your church have enough facilities to satisfy almost 400 organists in = quick time? If your timing is bad at the back of the bus, the restroom might = swing and sway in ways you would rather it didn't, but it's there, bless it.   Speaking of bad timing, the next program was, I am afraid, a victim of = this. Mr. Hell was given 40 minutes. It was not one of the 8 p.m. special, full length programs he may have coveted but it was a shot at a convention performance. He, I am afraid, turned it into a full length event, and = anyone looking at the program could have seen that. Conventions require the = smooth assurance of an on time start and an on time finish. The buses and the caterers are waiting, as they were in this case.   Anyway, the program began with a brilliant performance of the Reger = Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H. My one cavil about this was the registration. The contract for this Organ was signed in 1956 by G. Donald himself, but as = some will know, he returned from Buffalo to New York to continue the finishing = of the Organ at St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, and sadly, died shortly thereafter. This Organ (Westminster) was built under the supervision of Joseph Whiteford, and finished by Donald Gillett, not a team given to mellow! In the Reger, we had blazing Mixtures in a very fiery ensemble sound. One = could manage this, as the playing, and heaven knows, the music, were totally solid. My note to my self said, "My word, those Mixtures!" It did hurt.   To me, the three Franck Chorals are among the world's most majestic, expressive treasures, and I am unable to begin to suggest which is the greatest of these three. Mr. Hell gave us the B Minor on this day, a major work of musical architecture. I found it, at times, mechanical, without response to the expressive hints for finding tension and release, provided inherently by the music. At other times, it seemed to rush away, without = any feeling of repose. By this time, I was thinking ahead to what would soon befall us, with (hopefully not) those shrieking Mixtures as we approached the great climax of the work. When it all hit, I was mindful of the words = of Gerard Brooks, who said that [the Organ in] "Divine Service need not duplicate the miracle that brought down the walls of Jericho." I recall sitting in the empty Royal Festival Hall as my blind friend, the wonderful Organist/Composer, David Liddle, registered the Organ for a concert. Ralph Downes, the designer of this instrument, was cognizant of and in sympathy with the whole Organ Reform Movement. David, of necessity, registered not = by stop name but by sound, and his first job, in setting up the Organ for Romantic music, was to immediately cut off those Mixtures, as being in = style unsuited to the music. I prayed that this might happen before the final = work on this night's program. Quoting Sebastian Gluck in a recent posting: "Certainly, by the Whiteford era, it was difficult to approximate any late French sounds." The sounds I *was* hearing made me most uncomfortable.   It was hymn time, and Mr. Hell had chosen Lobe den Herren - Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. The pace was glacial, but with singers like us, it = could be made to work, and was rather fun. A few of us intrepid guys who are members of the Alessandro Moreschi Memorial Society sang the descant with true distinction!   I have heard Mr. Hell play the Liszt Ad Nos in at least two places, only = one of which I can remember at this moment. That was Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, home to what may well be the <magnum opus> of the Schantz Company, comfortably placed in a glorious acoustic. His performance of this = enormous, powerful work in that place was magnificent. At Westminster, on its 1959 Whiteford Aeolian-Skinner, it was mostly hard to bear, although I do = believe many in the audience were thrilled with the great display of virtuosity, present in abundance. I can see Mr. Hell looking over the immense specification at home, and making the judgement that one can play anything on this Organ, before he had to decide on the program. He perhaps had no chance to hear and play the instrument before making those decisions - it = is a long way from home. The Organ contract may have been signed by G. Donald Harrison, and I believe his signature is on the console, but the = instrument was built under the supervision of Joseph Whiteford, and those stop names may well have come to mean something entirely different from the original conception.   Apparently Mr. Hell inquired about the chances for playing an encore, and was, as I was told it, asked not to play an encore if the concert ended = more than ten minutes after the scheduled bus departure time. From what was on paper, there was no question but that it was going over - the question = was, how much. We were a good twenty minutes over bus departure time when the concert ended, but with our always prompt buses already idling, and the caterer waiting for us forty minutes away, and with everyone eagerly awaiting the stupendous Tom Murray's performance on a stupendous Skinner instrument, Mr. Hell launched into a breakneck performance of the fast movement of a Bach Trio Sonata, and when I have heard him do this before, = it has, in its accuracy and excitement proved to be musically defensible with reservations. This time, a Presbyterian Goddess was smiling down and = sending the message - "Don't mess with the OHS, or I'll get you." About half way along, She made her move, and "Sonata Interruptus" occurred. It did get = back on the rails, but things were never the same again.   So, there were lessons learned today, the first of which has to be "Know thine instrument." If a work on the program requires particular characteristics in an instrument and building, make sure they are there. = You do not want less than a fine performance.   Please treat your presenter with respect. If you do otherwise, it does get around remarkably quickly. Time your program with care. If you have an understanding with your presenter about encores, as one example, it is = well to honor it scrupulously.   I am glad Felix Hell did finally play for an OHS Convention audience. If = he does it again, I hope it will be with music well suited to the instrument = he is offered.     Thomas Murray, Central Park United Methodist Church, Buffalo Friday, July 16th, 2004 - 8 pm   Well, as I sat waiting in happy anticipation for Tom to climb onto the = bench of a perfect Tom Organ, and to produce yet another blockbuster recital, my addled mind was having a little fantasy. I was thinking of all those moms and dads piling into the Chevy with their 2.5 children and the dog, and heading for Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame or to Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Museum (or is it a shrine?), and the fantasy continued with these same people heading, perhaps a bit more reverently, to Buffalo for the National Organists' Hall of Fame! Or, how about a Wax Museum? A = bit of a problem there, considering how much wax some Organists of another day might require! Widor alone would want the wax of a thousand candles.   In truth, something of this sort might one day attract a University Organ Department to a project that would concentrate on the history of the great virtuosi of the Organ. Our next recitalist is assured a spot! Thomas = Murray is Professor of Music and University Organist at Yale. To savvy OHS Convention-goers, Tom's recital is always eagerly anticipated, then = swooned over, and then discussed endlessly. He gets his choice of Organ, often, as this year, an untouched Ernest Skinner instrument of considerable interest and distinction.   Anyone within a reasonable distance of New Haven, Connecticut approaches = the recital or two that Tom gives the world in Woolsey Hall in any given year, as though approaching an Ultra High Mass, or some great and solemn state occasion. Well, actually, those of us who inhabit the first balcony on = those occasions would not think of solemnity as the right word for the mood of = the gathering. Tom and that enormous and amazing Organ are as one, and I doubt that I was alone in using the moments prior to tonight's recital for scanning the great stoplist of Skinner Opus 356 which we were about to = hear, and thinking something like: "I can hardly wait to hear Thomas Murray make use of this very complete palette of broad, rich ranks of pipes." The = Great has three independent Tubas, 16, 8, and 4' amongst those seven ranks of = the Great that are enclosed in their own Swell box. There are a lot of the = usual Skinner solo stops, e.g. French Horn, English Horn, Heckelphone, Corno di Bassetto, Stentorphone, a beautiful Clarinet, an Erzaehler, and lots of = lush strings. It is all capped by the Solo Tuba Mirabilis on 20" of wind. There are 73 note chests and the attendant Super Couplers. Usual with this = period (1922-23), there are basically only three stops actually originating in = the Pedal Division, and these are the 16 Open Wood, the 16' Bourdon (of 61 pipes, going all over the place), and the 16' Trombone. The 16' Open Wood and the 16 Trombone both show 44 pipes, and there IS a Super Coupler on = the Pedal, don't you know!? Some of the unusual touches in this instrument are the doing of John A. Bell of Pittsburgh, who served as consultant. A = notable feature of this collaboration was the enclosed portion (seven stops) of = the Great Organ, something about which Skinner was not enthusiastic.   With all these machinations in play, the Organ made a mighty roar, and we heard the following program:   Reger - Introduction and Passacaglia in D Minor (1899), approached broadly and richly, with a sound quite different from that of the Westminster Whiteford Aeolian-Skinner we had heard just before with its Mixtures unfortunately blazing away! A great recital opening with a good = introduction to the instrument.   After Tom announced that this was the 30th anniversary of his first = recital at an OHS Convention (cheers), he played the middle of Saint-Saens's three Fantasies, in Dflat, Opus 101 from 1895, not so often heard, and probably the very best for showing off an Organ with lots of color stops, like the one we were hearing. Next, a section entitled "Four Americans," ranked, it seems, by age, the first of which was Myron Roberts, whose Homage to Perotin (1956), I found = to be very powerful, with strong sections of Organum-like writing. Mr. = Roberts is shown in the program as being born in 1904, and in Henderson with the date 1912. I am sure he would prefer the later, and I do hope he is still with us. Next, a Yalee, Horatio Parker (1878-1919) with his charming 1908 "Novelette" with all manner of interesting rhythmic irregularities. Next, = a 1962 "Reverie" by the late African-American composer, William Grant Still (1895-1978), for which Tom brought out the wonderful Skinner French Horn. This work is reminiscent of the "Elegie" of 1963, which I play every year = in February. Finally, by Robert Greenlee (b. 1954), "Ride on, King Jesus," a wonderfully bouncy piece from a set of "Three Spirituals for Palm Sunday." Next, two works by Bedrich Antonin Wiedermann (1883-1951). The first, "Notturno (1942) is wonderfully atmospheric, even spooky at the beginning, which is where the glorious English Horn is heard. John Henderson refers = to it as "a rather curious chromatic Notturno." This was followed by the earlier, wonderfully energetic and imaginative "Impetuoso. There was a = brief section with a wonderfully Pointillistic sort of decoration. From = Henderson: [He] "was a teacher of L. Janacek. Organist of St. Jakob's Church, he traveled widely in Europe and the USA as a recitalist . . . . " It would = be interesting to work in the archives of The Diapason to see what reaction there was to Wiedermann. There is an interesting posting by Karel Paukert concerning Czech music included in a concert he played on a Dobson Organ = in Spillville, Iowa. The program ends with what is referred to as the First Performance of a "Wedding March" by Wiedemann! http://www.dobsonorgan.com/html/instruments/resto_rebuild/spillville.html Here followed an intermission. I trotted downstairs to "be a gentleman" or "spend a penny," or whatever, and arrived back at my seat in what I = thought was pretty good time. How wrong I was - the hymn had come and gone = already, and with it had gone my "Hymn Supplement," "Hymnlet" in earlier days. I = was surrounded by friends, and none had seen the sleight of hand of the thief. Better that than the Organ Handbook! At breakfast the next morning, I was offered another one by the male member of a couple, whose wife assured him he could look on. This was only Friday, and the OHS Registration Office = had run completely out of both Hymn Things AND Organ Handbooks. It means = exactly the same thing it means when the church runs out of bulletins on Sunday morning - Good crowd today. The hard work of Joe McCabe and the convention committee made this a convention people really wanted to attend, and = attend they did! Well, back to Tom Murray. In addition to being a master programmer, Tom also often comes up with interesting things to do with that precious time in every OHS recital when it is time to sing a hymn. Well, in the absence of me, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was sung, only not like anyone had probably done it before. This was to a fine tune called "Vision," by Walford Davies! I know it is = in the old Canadian Anglican Hymnal, which means it might well be in Ancient and Modern (unrevised). I can't find mine. In "Songs of Praise," the text appears with a tune by Martin Shaw. Anyway, Sir Walford's "Vision" is a = less thumpy, less military alternative, and a nice one. Sorry I was not in = time! First on the second half, Rhapsody (Opus 17, No. 3, 1919) . . . Herbert Howells. This delicious piece, and Tom Murray's understanding of how to = make the Organ work for it gave major chills. I have heard Tom play Lemare's transcription for Mendelssohn's Overture to Ruy Blas once before, and that was at Woolsey. It was amazing then, and remains so now. The play, by Victor Hugo, is full of intrigue and passion(s). The Overture is a blaze of notes at times, a sort of perpetual motion. One is left breathless when it ends. Tom is totally unruffled. Lollipop Time: Three movements from the Mulet "Byzantine Sketches." = "Rosace" with wonderful breadth, and a gorgeous registration, courtesy of Ernest M. Skinner. The wondrous Noel, and then the perfect finale, the Toccata "Tu = es petra." What a fabulous end to an amazing very full second day of this = 2004 convention. There's plenty more to come. Cheers, Malcolm Wechsler www.mander-organs.com