Peter Sykes plays the 1931 Steinmeyer of 83 ranks restored by Columbia Organ Works in the rolling acoustics of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona, Pennsylvania. It is a very rare example of a large Steinmeyer in that it remains unaltered tonally anywhere in the world, and is almost entirely original mechanically, as well. It is unique as an a large German organ built for a church in the United States between the World Wars.
A fabulous organ in its own right, the Altoona organ by Steinmeyer greatly influenced development of the American Classic Organ conceived by G. Donald Harrison, serving as his only means of experiencing a real Continental organ of any kind, as Harrison had visited no organs in Continental Europe before building highly significant organs intended to incorporate some baroque and continental characteristics, such as those at St. Mary the Virgin in New York City; All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester, Mass.; Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; Church of the Advent in Boston, Trinity Episcopal in New Haven, Connecticut; the Groton School in Groton, Mass.; Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass.; St. Mark's Episcopal, Philadelphia; and others. (Harrison finally heard some continental organs in 1937.)
The Altoona Steinmeyer organ is fabulously played by Sykes and fabulously recorded by Ed Kelly, the team that created Raven's famous organ CD of The Planets by Gustav Holst.
Fantasy & Fugue on BACH, op. 46
Benedictus, op. 59, No. 9
Introduction & Passacaglia in D Minor (1900)
Fantasy on Wachet auf, op. 52, no. 2
Melodia, Capriccio, Basso ostinato, op. 129, nos. 4, 5, 6