Simon Preston - Variations on America - Organ Spectacular (CD ALBUM)
An original album from the last days of the Argo label, and a spectacular display of virtuosity in both composition and performance.
Simon Preston had been a recording artist for almost three decades when, in March 1988, he recorded this collection at the organ of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall in Boston. The instrument itself is a noted example of organ-building in the Romantic German school, commissioned from the firm of E.F Walckerby the president of the Boston Music Hall Association, Jabez Baxter Upham. The organ was later moved –to a purpose-built hall –and significantly restored by the Aeolian-Skinner company. It is still a demonstration-quality instrument: shimmering strings, sparkling mixtures and brilliant reeds provide seemingly endless resources for the interpretation of all periods and styles of the organ repertoire.
Preston's program on the present album is seemingly designed to put such an organ through its paces. The most substantial work is the First Organ Sonata by Guilmant, which is celebrated for its barnstorming finale. However, there are fireworks aplenty from Ives, Lemareand Sousa, in works which draw on almost every colouristic possibility from a well-equipped organ, and with an almost riotous abandon. The Last Rose of Summervariations form a fine tribute to the instrument's first appointed organist, Dudley Buck, whose duties included three hour-long recitals each week.
This anthology is one of five newly remastered sets canvasing Simon Preston's complete solo organ recordings for Argo.
SOUSA: The Stars and Stripes Forever
SAINT-SAËNS: Dansemacabre, Op. 40 (transc. Lemare)
IVES: Variations on America
BUCK: The Last Rose of Summer, Op. 59
BOSSI: Étude symphonique, Op. 78
LEMAREAndantino in D flat major 'Moonlight and Roses'
GUILMANT: Organ Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 42
Simon Preston at the organ of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Boston
|Release Date||3 Nov 2017|
|Title||Variations on America - Organ Spectacular|