A premiere recording of new works on the Great Organ in Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, Massachusetts, as well as Bach, Liszt, and Franck. This famous four-manual organ was built in 1863 for the Boston Music Hall by the E. F. Walcker firm of Germany, then rebuilt in 1909 by James Treat for a new owner in Methuen, Massachusetts, who had architect Henry Vaughan build a sumptuous hall for it there. In 1947, G. Donald Harrison and Aeolian-Skinner rebuilt it to have 112 ranks.
J. S. BACH: Prelude & Fugue in G, BWV 541
LISZT: Gebet, S. 265
Ora pro nobis, S. 262
Resignazione, S. 263
FRANCK: Chorale No. 3 in A-minor
* ASKELL MASSON: Meditation
* WILFRED JOSEPHS: Sonata
* LESLIE HOWARD: Moto di Gioia
*premiere recording, works dedicated to Iain Quinn
Writes Charles Huddleston Heaton in The Diapason, "Fasten your seatbelts, as the saying goes, for bach's Prelude and Fugue in G Major, which is played at a furious clip -- the Prelude in under three minutes! This is followed by sympathetic performances of three of Liszt's lesser known pieces . . . quiet compositions that show off the rich softer sounds of this legendary instrument. An exuberant playing of Franck's Chorale in A Minor follows, showing the color and variety available on this noble organ.
The three final compositions on the CD are of great interest in that each is dedicated to Mr. Quinn . . . The first is a Meditation (1992) by the Icelandic composer Askell Masson, based on the third movement of his marimba concerto. It has a quiet improvisatory character this is compelling, with a slight buildup towards the end. Wilfred Josephs' Sonata (1992) follows -- a work of considerable musical interest. Its four-minute "Andante" would make a lovely voluntary, as would the brief "Vivo" if your technique is up to the challenge. The Moto di Gioia (1993) by Leslie Howard brings this splendid CD to a close. The six-minute work sounds very difficult -- double pedaling and all that -- but Quinn is up to every musical challenge."