Bethany Presbyterian, Staunton VA, June 16, 2013
The organ is an Allen 305-B. It’s of the MOS-2 generation with reeds, principals, flutes, strings, string celestes, and Mixtures on both manuals. The pedal starts at 16’ and includes 3 16’ stops, several 8’s and 4’s, a mixture, and reeds at 16 & 8.
The card reader system is inoperative, as are the chorus, vibrato, and reverb. The instrument is quite usable, however. The tonal effect resembles a Holtkamp pipe organ from the 1950’s or 1960’s. The room is heavily carpeted with next to no reverberation or tonal bloom. Sound reinforcement is used for the pastor and choir. Still, the instrument speaks well and quickly and works well for most all literature.
Praise to the Lord, The Almighty, The King of Creation……Johann Gottfried Walther (1684-1748)
If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee……………………… Harold R. Vetter (1931-2010)
#35 in B major from 35 Miniatures for Organ……………… Flor Peeters (1903-1986)
The Penitent’s Prayer………………………………………… Leslie F. Watson (1859-1933)
Toccata in F Major…………………………………………… Diedrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)
The choir is on vacation from rehearsals, but sings on Sunday after a brief run through. This Sunday’s anthem is “Faith of Our Fathers.” I plan to use harmonizations by Charles Callahan on two verses. For an introit they are using one verse of “When Morning Gilds the Sky.
“Let All Things Now Living” ….. “Here I am Lord”…. “Trust and Obey”
Closing response: “They’ll Know We are Christians By Our Love.”
The Walther uses full organ with mixtures and a 16’ reed in the manuals and in the pedal a heavier 16’ reed in addition to the 16’ Diapason, Violone, and Bourdon in the pedal, coupled to the Great and Swell. Fragments of the melody appear in the hands and the main melody spins out in the pedal.
The Vetter uses Quintaton 16, Spitzflote 4, and Blockflote 2 in the Great for the counterpoint in the left hand and my “ersatz Krummhorn” registration of 8’ string, 4’ Flute, 1 ⅗’ Tierce, and 8’ Hautbois with tremolo for the melody in the right hand. Though written in the 20th Century, the piece is reminiscent of a 2-part “alio modo” setting from the 17th century.
The Peeters is played on the antiphonal using the great stops Dulciana 8, Dulciana Celeste 8, Hohlflote 8, and Flauto Dolce 8, with tremolo. The dynamic level ranges from pop to pp.
Leslie Watson was the first president of the Virginia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and was a prominent Richmond VA musician at the turn of the 20th Century. Besides being organist in two Richmond churches, he conducted the Richmond Philharmonic and had numerous published compositions for organ, orchestra, and other instruments. The left hand uses the Dulciana 8, Dulciana Celeste 8, and Flauto Dolce 8 on the Great. The pedal uses the 16’ Bourdon coupled to the Great. The right hand melody is carried by flutes 8, 2 ⅔ and 1 ⅗ with tremolo in the “flute plus sesquialtera” registration. In the center “angelic chorus” section the great is used with the expression shoe nearly closed. In the A and A recap sections the expression shoe is fully open.
The Buxtehude Toccata uses a blazing full organ with 16’ manual reed and all mixtures, with 16’ reed and flues in the pedal with manuals coupled.