137 years and still playing strong!

In response to this earlier post on the restoration of the Hook and Hastings organ in my church, a reader asked if I would provide some recording of a recital this afternoon by Leo Abbott, F.A.G.O.

Unfortunately, my small digital recorder was not altogether equal to the task. It picked up some ambient noise and the audio clarity is not what the performance deserved. Still, for those who'd like to take a listen, here's the closing selection, Marche Religeuse by Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911). This piece is based on a theme from "Lift Up Your Heads" from Handel's Messiah.  The audio isn't perfect but does give you a taste of the beautiful music we heard on this equally beautiful fall day.

This instrument with its two manuals, 15 stops, 12 ranks is Hook and Hastings Opus 812.  It was built and installed in St. Bernard Church in Concord in 1875, just 10 years after the parish was founded. Though now restored, at 137 years old this organ occasionally shows its age!  My parish organist, Jim Barkovic, assisted in the gallery when an occasional note stuck.  You may hear a few traces of that in the recording.


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