Thursday, March 28, 2013

Augusta Stone Presbyterian Church -- Maundy Thursday March 28, 2011.

Organ was originally a Moller from the 1920’s in the left front of the church.  In the 1960’s was moved to the rear gallery and rebuilt by Mark Wetzel.  Great pipework is on a chest cantilevered from the gallery rail.   The bottom 12 of the Open Diapason are open woods on the back wall of the gallery.  Great stop list:  Open Diapason 8,  Bourdon 8,  Octave 4  Flute d’Amour 4 (not working)  Super Octave 2  Blockflote 2   Mixture III.   Great to great 4,  Swell to great 8, 4
Swell stop list:  Gedeckt 8,  Dulciana 8,  Voix Celeste 8 (tc), Principal 4, Flute 4 (from Gedeckt) Nazard 2 ,  Flautino 2,  Larigot 1   Oboe Horn 8.  Swell to Great 16, Unison off  4.  (Unison off is now wired to play the gedeckt 16, an extension of the gedeckt 8) 
Pedal stop list: Bourdon 16,  Lieblich Gedeckt 16, Bass Flute 8,  Gedeckt 8,  Flute 4,  Swell to pedal 8,  Great to pedal 8.    (Organ has no tremolo.)   The organ has some very nice sounds in the very resonant room dating from the 1750’s.  The action has some irregularities which seem to be related to worn out console contacts and a power supply that can’t quite keep up with demand.  The builder, Mark Wetzel, as best I can remember, was active in Waynesboro VA from the late 1940’s until the early 1970’s.  He emigrated to the US from Austria, where he learned his trade, to work for Klann Organ Supply, as arranged by his uncle Pete Wetzel who worked at Klann from the 1920’s and did organ servicing and installations “on the side.”   

Epitaphe from 24 Pieces in Free Style,  Louis Vierne.  (1870-1937)

The Last Supper from Bible Poems…. Jaromír Weinberger  (1896-1967)

Both of these pieces are Romantic-Impressionistic.  Both are rather quiet.  The Vierne is a bit more impressionistic, the Weinberger a bit more romantic in the manner of cinema music of the 1930's.  

For Epitaphe the registration is:  Swell: Dulciana and Voix Celestre,  Great Bourdon 8, Swell to Great
Pedal:  Bourdon 16, Gedeckt 16, Swell to pedal   Manual changes are as indicated by the composer except for a few places where the left hand is taken on the great to make it audible. 

For The Last Supper I take off the Swell to Great 8 and the pedal Bourdon 16.   
The string stops are rather robust, so the swell box stays closed or nearly so much of the time.  The Gedeckt 16 is inside the swell box, so this works well for the quiet ending of The Last Supper.  

Voluntaries during Communion:

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross…. Garrett Parker  (b?)  

Ecce Jam Noctis….  Garth Edmundson (1892-1971) 

When I Survey is a 3 verse continuous set of variations.  The first verse is in two voices with the melody on the Bourdon 8 on the Great and the counterpoint on the Swell strings.   Verse 2 is on the Swell Strings with the Gedeckt 16 in the pedal with some “contemporary” chord progressions.  Verse 3 accompanies the Bourdon 8 melody with ostinato chords on the strings and quiet pedal.  The piece ends with a fragment of the first verse going into a quiet tonic chord under the solo melody.  Garrett Parker has written quite a bit of church music for several publishers, but no biographical information seems to be available.  

Ecce Jam Noctis has the chant melody on the Great Bourdon 8, accompanied by the Swell strings with the Gedeckt 16 with swell coupled in the pedal.  The accompanimental line is often of just two voices in a quasi counterpoint using the dissonant notes of the underlying chord, implying seventh and ninth chords but heard as quietly dissonant counterpoint.  The dissonance abates gradually throughout the piece, which ends finally on a very quiet major chord. 

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