Built in 1870 for the First Unitarian Church of Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, E. & G. G. Hook Opus 553 was sold when the church closed in 1991. Purchased and moved to Berlin, Germany, the organ now resides in Heilig-Kreuze-Kirche and fulfils the need of Berliners to have access to an organ completely suitable for Romantic literature, the lack of which was occasioned by the destruction of WWII. Completely original, the organ has three manuals and pedal, mechanical key-action, slider chests and 39 registers, including a Glockenspiel and its original Barker machine. It has been restored by Hermann Eule of Bautzen.
The three organists heard on this recording, Matthias Schelmer, Gunter Kennel, and Reinhard Hoffman, do a fine job of putting the organ through its paces in a program of American music and showing not only accomplished musicianship, but also good humor and a sense of delight in Berlin’s new treasure.
FOOTE: Festival March, Allegretto
WEINBERGER: Bible Poems
PAINE: Prelude in D-flat
BUCK: Variations on Foster’s Old Folks at Home, Variations on The Last Rose of Summer
YON: Humoresque “L’Organo primitivo” Toccatina for Flute
LEMARE: Loch Lomond, Auld Lang Syne
JOPLIN, Arr. Kennel: The Entertainer