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Simon Preston

Variation on America - Organ Spectacular (CD)

An original album from the last days of the Argo label and a spectacular display of virtuosity in both composition and performance.

Simon Preston had been a recording artist for almost three decades when in March 1988, he recorded this collection at the organ of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall in Boston. The instrument itself is a noted example of organ-building in the Romantic German school, commissioned from the firm of E.F Walcker by the president of the Boston Music Hall Association, Jabez Baxter Upham. The organ was later moved – to a purpose-built hall – and significantly restored by the Aeolian-Skinner company. It is still a demonstration-quality instrument: shimmering strings, sparkling mixtures and brilliant reeds provide seemingly endless resources for the interpretation of all periods and styles of the organ repertoire.

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA: The Stars and Stripes Forever
CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS: Danse macabre, Op. 40 (transc. Lemare)
CHARLES IVES: Variations on America
DUDLEY BUCK: The Last Rose of Summer, Op. 59
MARCO ENRICO BOSSI: Étude symphonique, Op. 78
EDWIN LEMARE Andantino in D flat major ‘Moonlight and Roses’
ALEXANDRE GUILMANT: Organ Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 42

Simon Preston at the organ of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Boston