Felix Hell, the German Wunderkind born in 1985, plays recital favorites on the 1988 Thomas Kuhn 3-56 organ in the ancient church (9th century) of St. Justinus in Frankfurt-am-Main/Höchst. Hell, who began playing concerts outside of his native Germany at age 8 and taking first prizes in various competitions at the same age, is acclaimed not only for his youth but his prodigious technique and innate musicality.
BUXTEHUDE: Prelude in D (BuxWV 139)
BRUHNS: Prelude in e
BACH: O Mensch, bewein’dein’ Sünde groß (BWV 622); Toccata, Adagio, & Fugue in C (BWV 564)
MENDELSSOHN: Sonata I in f, op. 65
FRANCK: Choral III in a
Felix Hell plays the six organ sonatas, op. 65, by Felix Mendelssohn on the 115-rank organ at Methuen Memorial Music Hall in Methuen, Massachusetts. Originally built for the Boston Music Hall 1857-1863 by the E. F. Walcker Co. of Ludwigsburg, Germany, the organ’s cone-valve mechanism was replaced with beautifully constructed slider chests built by James E. Treat of the Methuen Organ Company when Edward F. Searles acquired and moved the organ to Methuen at the turn of the 20th century. The organ was rebuilt and enlarged by G. Donald Harrison of Aeolian-Skinner in 1948. Freidrich Sprondel, former editor of Orgel International, writes succinctly of the “Mendelssohn Organ” in the CD booklet.
Felix Hell plays at the Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia, on their new Rieger-Kloss organ.
BUXTEHUDE: Prelude, Fugue & Ciaconne in C, BuxWV 137
BACH: Prelude & Fugue in G, BWV 541
BACH: Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645
BACH: Air on the G-String
DUPRÉ: Variations sur un Noël
GIGOUT: Toccata in b
BÖELLMANN: Suite Gothique, op. 25
WIDOR: Movements 1 & 2, Symphony No. 5
REGER: Variations & Fugue on America
Young Felix Hell’s latest CD features the huge, 110-rank Schoenstein organ completed in 1998 at First-Plymouth Congregational Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, as recorded like never before by audiophile guru Dr. Keith Johnson on the famous Reference Recordings label.
GUILMANT: Sonata 1 in d
VIERNE: Final of Symphony No. 1
LISZT: Fantasy & Fugue on B-A-C-H
LISZT: Fantasy & Fugue on Ad nos